August Skincare Empties

Contrary to what the lack of activity over the last six months or so might suggest, I am not dead. And I used up products:

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Tony Moly I’m Real Sheet Mask ($3-4/20g): I’ve gotten into that whole sheet mask shebang and out of all the ones I’ve tried, these ones are my favourite – and I’ve used loads of them, in different varieties. They don’t contain harsh or irritating alcohol and, instead, contain beneficial ingredients like glycerin, panthenol, allantoin and hyaluronic acid. Most of all, they aren’t obscenely priced for a single use mask. After use, my skin feels soothed, plumped and enriched with a dose of dewy hydration. My favourite has to be the Radiance variety. Definite repurchase.

Paula’s Choice Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner ($24 US/118 mL): Paula’s Choice toners weren’t one of the first products of hers that I tried, but they were among the most life-changing. I really liked this one, enriched with fatty acids along with her more typical antioxidant, hyaluronic acid and anti-irritant based formulas but I decided to repurchase the Skin Recovery  offering instead because I liked it about as much, with its milky texture and nice variety of anti-irritants, antioxidants and oils and you get more for less. In short, it’s great for fighting inflammation and repairing the barrier but it might not be as cost efficient as her other offerings.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% ($6.50/30 mL): This was my first foray into the brand and is a simple, AHA formula that isn’t irritating, is formulated at a functional pH and contains hyaluronic acid and a tasmanian pepper berry derivative to soften the blow of the acid. At first, I wasn’t in love with the gel formula because I didn’t notice anything different and didn’t find it as gentle as other formulas, but once I started layering my skincare again as I was dealing with dryness, I started to really enjoy how it resurfaced while drawing moisture to the skin. At first, I dealt with the tiniest tingle on my beyond sensitive skin but that did subside. I think I even repurchased this in the stronger formula a few days ago. Someone really needs to monitor my late night online shopping.

Hylamide Booster Sensitive Fix ($20/30 mL): As someone who suffers with random bouts of seemingly random sensitivity, I decided to try Hylamide’s offering for this sensitivity. I can tell you that I liked the product but with all the jargon in the claims, I’m not sure it completely performs in comparison. It contains sodium hyaluronate to soothe and hydrate the skin, along with  lactobacillus ferment extract that has research supporting its ability to help with barrier repair and fatty acids that have the same function. It also contains a few plant extracts with anti-inflammatory activity. It’s not that I don’t like the serum – I did, and would consider repurchasing -, its more that these extracts that the serum boasts have questionable abilities to completely fix skin sensitivity and I hate how convoluted the language is on the website. This was a nice serum to layer underneath a moisturizer or oil to help reduce inflammation and sensitivity.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser: This cult classic is among the very best of affordable cleansers out there, fragrance-free and formulated without harsh cleansing agents. I have a couple of cleansers on the go so I won’t repurchase immediately but I definitely will. It’s excellent for sensitivity and dryness. Even though the ingredients are rinsed off, I think the hyaluronic acid, ceramides and fatty acids are a nice touch for barrier repair – but the real superstar ingredient is the lack of barrier disrupting ingredients in the formula.

Josie Maran Argan Oil: This was a sample sized product that I got out of one of those Sephora Favourites Kits that I adore but it was large enough that I deemed it worthy of mention. Seeing as I’m not a huge fan of essential oils in skincare for myself, I liked that this was purely an antioxidant rich plant oil, in an organic cold-pressed form. It wasn’t my absolute favourite and it wasn’t a sophisticated blend, but I enjoyed applying it to add a boost of hydration, do some soothing action and provide some extra nourishing. I don’t think I’d repurchase but it’s nice.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

 

November 2016 Empties

While I wasn’t blogging or was hardly blogging at all, I was still using beauty products and gathering thoughts that I was itching to share. Truth be told, they amounted to such a degree that I may have thrown out some of the less interesting products that I finished. However, I held onto the more interesting ones and today I’m going to share a hopefully abridged version of my thoughts on these products. The funny thing is that I thought I would be overjoyed to have used up so many skincare products but I learned that I was somewhat sad to no longer have some of these in my life. Spoiler alert: there’s loads of skincare ahead.

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  1. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion in W2 ($22-26/0.51 ounces)

I’m starting with the most shocking product here – a finished face product and one that I purchased not even six months ago at that. I adored this cushion foundation so much that I reached for it every single day that I wore makeup for months on end and actually repurchased it without a thought – not something that this foundation hoarder hardly ever does. It’s my favourite tinted moisturizer kind of product, with light-medium coverage and an undetectable dewy skin kind of finish.

2. Rimmel Volume Colourist Mascara ($9.99/ 11 mLs)

I should start by noting that I got this mascara for free to try by chance at work, not that that sways my opinion on it in the very least. It was a good medium wetness mascara that offered a nice amount of volume to the lashes but obviously it did not darken my lashes by any means. There was something about it that I found left my sensitive eyes irritated by the end of the day. I wouldn’t repurchase but the formula was nice for volume and I quite liked the large natural bristle wand.

3. Equate Mega Hold Styling Gel ($2.27/355 mLs)

I have naturally wavy/curly hair that I wear in its natural state – when I’m not lazy and leave it permanently coiled to the top of my head in a bun as I have of late – and I do try to follow the Curly Girl Method. I picked up this cheap-o gel because it was silicone free and had a similar ingredient profile to the LA Looks gels that I don’t have access to here in Canada. It was nice but not holy-grail status, leaving hold to my hair that was not helmet-like. I wouldn’t repurchase as I own so many gels, but I did enjoy this, particularly diluted with water and conditioner as a refresher. And this is it for the non-skincare items.

4.Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA ($33 US/50 mLs) | review

Since I’ve been out of this lotion-textured AHA/BHA combo product for over six months, I’m in complete disbelief that I have yet to include it in one of these ‘finished products’ posts. I’ve talked about how much I love this combination lower concentration of AHA and 0.5% BHA serum-exfoliant hybrid time and time again because of the manner that it makes it easier to tolerate these acids on a daily basis, while injecting your skin with a nice dose of peptides, ceramides, anti-irritants and antioxidants. I’ve managed to hold of repurchasing thus far but I will try it again in the future.

5. Paula’s Choice RESIST Intensive Repair Cream with Retinol ($33 US/ 50 mLs)

This ultra-soothing and nourishing cream wasn’t necessarily a wow product for me – but do keep in mind that I purchased it for the barrier-healing and soothing properties rather than the distinctive anti-aging ones – but it was excellent at keeping my skin from becoming flaky, dry and irritated. I hadn’t realized how great this cream was until I ran out of it suddenly – after a year of use. It does contain petrolatum, which some would detest but I didn’t mind as it keeps moisture in the skin and protects from the outside elements. It had an impressive ingredient list for a moisturizer as well, with a multitude of cell communicating ingredients (including the retinol), antioxidants, ceramides and peptides. Its rich texture was a god-send for my truly dry patches, but it would be too much for someone with oilier areas.

6. Paula’s Choice CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum ($34 US/30 mL)

To be honest, I’m not sure whether I want to repurchase this product or not at the moment for any reason other than to try it again to determine whether or not it is repurchase-worthy. Unlike the previous two products that I’ve mentioned, this was not a product where I found a little to go a long way and, consequently, I went through this product very quickly. It was quite possibly because the product was so lightweight and weightless while providing the deep hydration, hefty dose of hyaluronic acid along with antioxidants and anti-irritants. It was definitely soothing and hydrating but I’m not sure that it’s the serum for me and my concerns. It might be more suited for a dehydrated and combination or oily skinned individual.

7. Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 ($29 US/60 mLs) | review

I would normally say that this moisturizer-sunscreen hybrid was impressive in its ability to provide sun protection that my uber-sensitive skin can tolerate without dryness or irritation, but not impressive enough to rewarrant an instant repurchase, however, I accidentally repurchased the same product under a different name. The last time I ordered from Paula’s Choice, I quickly added the CALM Redness Relief (Normal to Dry) SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer to my cart because it promised mineral protection and soothing hydration. Little did I realize, that it’s the same formula repackaged. I do really like this stuff, though, as it does not irritate my skin and is hydrating, with its antioxidant and anti-irritant rich formula.

8. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($32/100 mLs) | review

Given that this product is essentially a mix of emollients and nourishing plant oils with a side order of potentially irritating essential oil derived fragrance, I shouldn’t love it as much as I do. I’ve currently got the Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Mask on the go but I do plan on purchasing this one afterwards. It leaves my skin plump and dewy afterwards, even when my skin is sahara-desert dry and miraculously does not seem to irritate my skin – I do feel a slight tingle when I apply it after I’ve gone a little too intense on the acids or retinoid front. I do also like that you get a lot more product than you would expect of this overnight mask. I will warn you all that this is a seriously thick and rich cream.

9. Naisture Pearl Mask Pack ($7.99/110 mLs)

I’m someone who enjoys a good sheet mask – which should not be surprising as they are particularly good for dehydrated skin types like mine – but I find that even drugstore offerings are obscenely expensive for the single use that they offer. I like purchasing these packs of five that they always seem to have at my local Winners as they offer more bang for your buck and have nice ingredients. These ones were pretty nice, hydrating and soothing with trehalose (a hydrator), shea butter, betaine (an amino acid) and panthenol (an anti-irritant), all in decent concentrations. I would recommend these but I won’t necessarily repurchase these exact ones.

10. Laneige Bright Renew Original Serum ($59/40 mLs)

If this brightening serum did not include so much unnecessary fragrance – it smells like a designer fragrance and contains a hefty dose of it – I wouldn’t have any reservations about repurchasing the serum. Luckily, my skin tends to be much more bothered by essential oils than fragrance itself but this milk-textured brightening serum would be an easy to recommend brightening offering without them. I saw results from this serum but not drastic ones – but keep in mind here that my skin tone is much less dull than it used to be and my regimented sunscreen and vitamin c use has left me with little hyper pigmentation – and found myself quite enjoying the formula. It has an impressive amount of squalene, niacinamide, liquorice root extract and reservatrol and I found that it was soothing, hydrating and brightening as a result. Although the texture and ingredients are different, it reminded me of Indeed Labs Pepta-Bright. I’m still thinking about repurchasing this…

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

 

 

February Empties

This empties post (to accompany January’s Candles Empties post), along with the makeup version of my 2015 Favourites post, have been two posts that I’ve been musing about for ages and have been putting off onto the back burner, but now that it’s now February, it’s time to get a move on both of them. Today, I’m starting with the empties before I end up burning through half a dozen or so candles and am due another one of those.

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Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($8-9): I’ve mangled up my last one of these beauty sponges and have had no choice but to repurchase this more affordable version of those bouncy sponges that you dampen. It’s great especially for this time of year when my skin is even more parched than normal, because when you dampen the sponge, the foundation and concealer that you apply with it will be slightly sheered out, but stick to dry patches far less and look like skin.

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Soft Brown ($11.99/7 mL): I really like the natural grey-leaning colour of this tinted brow mascara and I don’t even mind the large oddly shaped brush that it comes with – likely because I have bushier shaped brows – especially when I can’t be bothered to really do my brows but need some colour and definition in places. It’s also a nice one to set the brows in place on top of a brow product. It’s not life changing-ly awesome but I did repurchase it, instead trying out the darker shade in hopes of a bit more pigmentation.

L’Oreal Infallible SuperSlim Liquid Eyeliner ($9-10/1 mL): I really enjoyed this felt-tipped liquid liner because of just how easy it was to use, – even when caffeine had made me more than a little bit shaky – how fast it was to do a bit of a kitten flick and how the harder formula allowed for minimal mistakes when doing a simple line (and flick) along the lash line. The formula was a little harder and drier than I might always prefer, especially after the formula dried out from use – I suppose it’s still useable but my liner is over a year old now and it’s dry enough that I’m not pleased with the results. I recommend it and would think about purchasing it again – but I might try their newer liner first.

Diorshow Mascara ($34/0.33 ounces): Some months back, Sephora was offering a sample size of this cult classic mascara as a point perk and I couldn’t resist. I did actually end up really enjoying the formula and the brush – it had one of those huge brushes that I adore for building volume, a dry truly volumizing formula that was neither too difficult to remove or clumpy in the slightest, and one that offered some length and separation to boot. I’m not sure that I’m ready to shell out the cash for the full-size but I might consider it in the future, especially if it’s offered in a kit or something.

L’Oreal Sublime Soft Soothing Cleansing Wipes ($12.99/25): All things considered, these cleansing wipes are my favourite because if anything they are slightly hydrating – so they surpass the goal of being non-drying – and non irritating, either on my face or around my sensitive eye area. I’ll repurchase, even though I try not to be too much of a wipes person. The only ones that come close are the Bioderma ones that I’ve currently got on the go.

Sephora Perfecting & Brightening Pearl Sleeping Mask ($5/7 mL): I didn’t necessarily notice a profound difference in my skin after using it four or five times but I can say that it was not drying or irritating and did find it hydrating, soothing and plumping in the short term – and I enjoyed how I could get multiple uses out of the single mask (as compared to the sheets), along with how it was more comfortable to keep the mask on over time. I’ll perhaps repurchase – I’m just hesitant because there was not that significant of a difference and they are kind of heavily fragranced for my liking.

Paula’s Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster ($48 US/ 20 mLs): This concentrated 15% Vitamin C ‘booster-slash-serum’ product is expensive, especially for a product that supposedly only has a three month shelf life – I used it for six and did not have any sort of issues – because of how reactive the ingredient can be, but it has a sort of effect that I didn’t notice immediately but now can see when I went without it, that cannot be achieved for any less. It’s brightening, smooths texture and definitely reduces inflammation and irritation in a way that’s all around impressive enough to necessitate a desperate re-purchase from me. It’s one of those great antioxidant serums to boost the effect of your sunscreen when used in the daytime and fight against free-radical damage and the like.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick ($8/0.14 ounces): This chapstick-style balm I suppose is the first lip balm that I liked well enough to use on the daily and place enough care to ensure that I didn’t lose it before finishing the stick. I have really dry and sensitive lips so many balms I actually find irritating and/or drying but this one was an exception – despite being a more lightweight textured balm that could easily be applied throughout the day and layered underneath lipsticks, I found it soothing and hydrating on the lips, in a way that stayed for a few hours at least on the lips. Before I even think about repurchasing, I want to try the cult-favourite pot version of the balm.

Eucerin Calming Daily Moisturizing Creme ($8/14 ounces): While I found this cream decently hydrating and non-irritating on the eczema on my legs, it did nothing special to heal them or reduce itching. In other words, there was nothing wrong with this fragrance-free medium weight cream, but it was not exactly impressive either. I’m moving on. P.S. The whole oatmeal soothes and hydrates dry and itchy skin for 24 hours claim is bogus, if you ask me.

L’Oreal EverCreme Intense Nourishing Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($8/250 mL): This sulfate-free shampoo reminds me loads of the higher end sulfate-free shampoos that I adore at a fraction of the price – it doesn’t irritate my sensitive scalp, doesn’t dry out my waves and doesn’t add to any tangling or unruly hair problems. It’s even comparable to the Pureology that I love at a fraction of the price – I just don’t find it quite as weightless. I’m partial to the perfume-y scent as well. I have too many shampoos on the go right now but I would repurchase this one or another from this range.

Pureology Curl Complete Moisture Melt Masque ($55/150 mLs): Usually I absolutely adore and endorse the splurge in Pureology haircare products but this masque was neither impressive enough or just plain concentrated enough to be worth the money. I’ll definitely purchase another Pureology masque but not this one. It was hydrating, nice and lightweight and had nice slip but didn’t have that impressive treatment aspect. I will say that it didn’t weigh down my waves at all on the positive side.

TreSemme Perfectly (Un)done Wave Creation Sea Foam ($6-8/236 mL): I was pleasantly surprised with this weightless but non-drying medium-hold mousse product – it left my hair weightless regardless of the products I cocktail-ed it with and it added lift and texture with some curl definition. It’s by no means holy grail but I would buy it again if I was yearning for that beachy effect. It’s also a product that I can see working universally across different hair types for that beach-y wave kind of effect.

Have you finished any products recently?
Maggie, x.

 

 

The October Empties

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Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in 100 Ivory ($10-12): Once upon a time, not so long ago – in fact it was in the last 72 hours, I finally finished up my bottle of this seemingly never ending foundation. It’s definitely one of my favourites still, with good coverage but a natural skin look and a radiant finish, that rarely seems to do me wrong. I love that it works wonderfully over dry patches and the only complaint I have is that the shimmer can enhance imperfections when I’m dealing with raised breakouts and that the shade range is definitely limited. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a radiant foundation with some coverage, but I’m going to attempt to work through some more foundations in my stash before thinking about a repurchase.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in 125 Very Fair ($7-8): This concealer was really nice for providing medium build able coverage that looked nice even on my driest patches, however, it did not provide enough for blemishes and did not have quite enough correcting properties to conceal my bags on their own. It was a real treat for concealing redness, though, and to highlight the under-eye area after using a corrector – it was especially helpful that it looks so skinlike.

Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer in 010 Ivory ($7-8): So apparently I finished a lot of Rimmel face products this time around but I’m pleased to have this one used up, because I liked it, but it was not my favourite. Despite being marketed as a concealer-highlighter-hybrid, I found that this brush-tip concealer had medium build able coverage and didn’t have any luminous properties whatsoever. Although the brush was irritating for use on blemishes, I found it could be used on them as well as underneath the eyes. However, I found it a bit dry underneath my eyes, even though it concealed darkness fairly well and it had a tendency to look really makeup-y when applied in any sort of moderate amount. I would recommend it, though, especially if you’re curious about a thinner textured product that comes with a nice amount of product and has substantial coverage. I must be an awfully tough concealer critic…

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara ($9-10): The only non-Rimmel makeup product that I finished, huh? I do love this affordable volumizing mascara because it is not a menace to remove, does not get clumpy, doesn’t have an overly wet formula and works well without feeling like its even there. I’ve been through so many tubes of this and I don’t plan on stopping.

Prevens Makeup Remover Wipes ($6-7): I’m not your usual makeup wipes kind of girl, but sometimes I want to remove my makeup without the bother of going to the sink, removing everything with separate products and having to go through the routine and these are rather nice, but not my absolute favourite. I quite like that they are gentle, formulated without alcohol and somehow do not sting even my sensitive eyes. They’re not drying either and I’m afraid I have to admit to enjoying the subtle citrus scent.

Aveeno Eczema Care Moisturizing Cream ($15): If you’ve been a regular reader around these parts for some time, no doubt you will be aware that I suffer from a moderate case of eczema – particularly on my legs – that doesn’t seem to respond to much and I had to try this 1% colloidal oatmeal enriched cream because I love the body wash so much. I did enjoy the cream gel texture for how soothing it felt and the lack of general irritants, but it didn’t come out as impressive enough to warrant a repurchase.

Soap & Glory Calm One Calm All ($14): I definitely don’t buy the claims of this bubble bath doubling up as moisturizer and being a treat to the skin but I do adore it for the sake of the luxurious calming experience it provides, without being loaded with irritating essential oils – I find my eczema flares up in reaction to them – and sodium lauryl sulfate. It has that gorgeous warm patchouli scent that reminds me of Miss Dior that loads of products from the brand do and I enjoy it tremendously. I’m also partial to the fact that it’s not irritating and that I can even get away with using it as a body wash as well.

Dove Unscented Anti-Perspirant Stick ($5-6): I feel absolutely ridiculous including a deodorant in an empties post but this one deserves it. It might be a little TMI but I have the tendency to get a bit of eczema in my underarm area and most deodorants are painful to apply there and irritating, but this one works well and doesn’t sting or anything. I’ve repurchased before and I will again.

Bath & Body Works Nantucket Sail 3 Wick Candle: While I can’t seem to do an empties post without harping on about a scented candle, I haven’t been burning through many in recent months – mainly because of the warm weather and extended indian summer that we’ve been having. However, about a month ago I burned through this light citrus musk candle and I did enjoy it, while it’s not enough for a repurchase. It has that nice cologne kind of note that I like but it’s not up there with my faves.

Have you finished anything lately?
Maggie, x.

July Empties: Actual Skincare & Makeup

I’ve got the day off and even though I’m feeling sort of like I’ve been run over my a miniature dumptruck I figure that it’s time for the second part of my empty products post from July. I’m only slightly bitter that I did not in fact manage to finally finish up a particular foundation of mine… I promise.

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Sephora Collection Lotus Face Mask ($8/0.84 ounces)

I’m a bit funny about spending money on single use skincare so on my own I probably would not have bit the bullet and tried out one of Sephora’s newer sheet masks on my own but I will say that I was impressed with this moisturizing and soothing mask – it actually did what was on the label without any real amount of marketing nonsense or misleading ingredients. I felt hilarious with the mask on and was surprised to find that I still found it kind of large on my large face but I found that it came with a generous amount of product in the packet so although the mask was only one use, I got another two out of the excess product left on the sheet itself. It was really great for plumping up my skin, conquering dehydration and calming it overnight – in a visible way. I wouldn’t repurchase on a regular basis, but I would consider picking some up again on one of the buy-four-get-one free deals that Sephora has on.

Paula’s Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster Trial Size ($15/0.12 ounces)

I really did enjoy this irritant and fragrance free oil when I had it to instantly nourish and soothe my skin and I do appreciate how unique this product is, being formulated without fragrant essential oils that can wreck havoc on the skin. With that said, this does not impress me enough to warrant purchasing the full size, especially when you take the smaller-than-average size of the bottle into account.

Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster Trial Size ($20/0.12 ounces)

On the other hand, I found that this Paula’s Choice 15 % vitamin c antioxidant did last for a longer amount of time and was so good that it prompted a second order when I missed it tremendously as part of my routine upon using up my bottle. Obviously a repurchase has happened and I’m enjoying incorporating my larger bottle into my daily routine because it has helped to smooth the texture and the overall clarity of my skin. It’s the best.

Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil ($55/ 1 ounce) | review

This luxurious facial oil might not be the cheapest and does have the potential for some irritation with some synthetic fragrance and potentially problematic essential oils, but it has the most indulgent fluid texture and has helped to deeply hydrate and soothe my dehydrated sensitive skin. Because its pricier, I’ve switched to use a more affordable organic rosehip oil but I miss it terribly and am contemplating picking it up again.

Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer ($46/2.5 ounces)

This Kiehl’s moisturizer is definitely a great one and it’s great for dehydrated sensitive skin – plus you do get a great deal of product for the price – but it’s not my absolute favourite and does not compare with the Caudalie one that I’m going to discuss next. It’s free of fragrance and all things irritating and has the nicest lightweight soothing texture with glycerin, shea butter and a few anti-irritants, but it’s not like an instant skin drink and treatment. I wouldn’t be opposed to using it again in the future but I have no immediate plans to try it.

Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40/ 1.3 ounces) | review

After using up the lighter Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet and loving it last year, I was shocked to learn that I did the impossible, fell for the richer formula even harder. I might even say that it approaches holy grail territory with the instant lightweight hydration and soothing factor with its blend of emollients and antioxidants. It was almost a repurchase in the first place being the richer moisturizer in the same line but I’m definitely planning on coming back to it again after finishing my current one on the go.

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in Light ($31/0.35 ounces) | review

Being someone who finds it difficult to get along with most powders and use any quantity of them even when I do, but I’ve managed to use this soft matte natural-looking powdery until it shattered with just the inner rim remaining. It’s my favourite powder of all time, not offering much in coverage and just a small amount of oil-absorbing action but it doesn’t highlight dry patches, give a dry appearance to the skin or look powdery. I would definitely recommend this as a natural powder and will likely purchase again but I’m off to try others as I haven’t used many.

L’Oreal Magic Lumi Highlighting Concealer in 860 Fair ($14-16/0.05 ounces)

While I don’t love the high (and noticeable) alcohol content in the formula or just how pink and uber-pale this concealer-highlighter brush product is, it converted me to the realm of these highlighting pens that brighten the area whilst adding some coverage in moments. I quite liked it for brightening, either on its own for less serious bag days or paired with a corrector underneath the eyes, on the nose, chin and the center of the forehead. The sheerer illuminating texture was great, though,for highlighting with a concealing product without looking too heavy handed or makeup-y and now I want to try out different products of the highlighting pen variety. It would be great for anyone uber-pale though as it might actually serve as a highlighter for them…

Use up anything as of late?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

July Empties: The Usual Suspects

Early July, I felt that I wasn’t using hardly anything up but suddenly they piled up but as per usual, I let them collect without writing a post. Anyways, I used up so many products to necessitate a second post – especially considering my rambling habits. Today I’m starting with the more usual bodycare, home fragrance items and items stored in the shower and stay tuned for the makeup and skincare items soon.

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Bath & Body Works Renew & Refresh 3-Wick Candle ($22.50) | review

I haven’t been burning candles much as of late, given that the weather here has been rather warm but over a month ago I burned this fresh floral and warm jasmine scented candle. As the review indicates, I loved burning this inoffensive mellow scent, especially when I was looking for a bit of calmness. The next time this returning scent comes around I will definitely consider picking the blue candle up again.

Bath & Body Works Bow Ties & Bourbon 3-Wick Candle ($22.50)

The fact that I actually repurchased this masculine-leaning candle before burning through my first three wick of it should be particularly telling in terms of the depth of my obsession with it. As I’ve said before, it has this subtly sweet vanilla scent along with the expected musky sandalwood and woodsy notes. I also quite enjoy that it works during a myriad of seasons and that it burns so flawlessly with a lingering but not overwhelming throw. If it comes back next year – and I hope it will – I will likely purchase a third one.

 

The Body Shop Moringa Body Milk ($13)

I did really enjoy using this lightweight milk body lotion because despite the inclusion of fragrance, it did not seem to irritate my skin and because of the rich hydration it left behind while having that thinner texture. The scent was strong but really nice as well, a unique fresh-leaning floral. I don’t have any plans on purchasing it again any time soon because it wasn’t quite that spectacular.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP ($29.99)

Although I haven’t found anything resembling a miracle cure for my eczema, this lightweight but rich niacinamide-enriched cream has come the closest. It annoyingly tingles over irritated or raw skin but using it consistently really does help reduce the severity of my eczema and keep outbreaks to a minimum. The niacinamide definitely helps with barrier repair function that has a close correlation with eczema and it does sink in fast. It may just reduce itchiness over time and I will very likely purchase it again. I do wish it was a little richer in texture though.

 

L’Oreal Sublime Sun Sheer Finish SPF 50 Dry Mist ($17.99)

As I’m sure most of us do, I love the convenience of a spray sunscreen but most of the time I have issues with them irritating my skin with their alcohol content and running out of them far too quickly – in comparison to other sunscreen formulas. I’m pleased to report that I dealt with neither issue with this lightweight alcohol-free mist sunscreen. I particularly enjoyed how it felt soothing and hydrating on contact while having the convenience of the spray design. I’m going to be picking up another soon, as it is my favourite body sunscreen.

Aveeno Eczema Care Body Wash ($13)

As any one who suffers from a skin condition or general skin sensitivity should know, finding a gentle fragrance-free and soap-free body wash can make a world of difference for breaking the cycle of irritation – and this one is my favourite. It works nicely to cleanse even acne-prone areas of the body without irritation and gives a smooth shave to boot. I will definitely be replenishing my stock again soon!

Lush African Paradise Body Conditioner ($40)

This indulgent powdery musk scented body conditioner was a real treat for baths and showers and I did find that it was moisturizing and soothing whilst depositing the gorgeous scent, but in my opinion it’s just far too expensive for what you get. I loved the film that the oil rich formula left on my legs and just how smooth they felt afterwards, along with the ease of an in-shower formula but $40 dollars is too hefty of a price to pay.

 Use up anything lately of note?
Maggie, x.

Craziness; May Candle Empties

Throughout May I was a candle burning machine, somehow managing to burn through five candles – even though I note that I did not begin burning most of these this month (some I’ve been burning since December) and most of them are not even full sized. It seems that my love for the burning of candles necessitates writing up an entire post detailing the candles that I’ve burned to completion all month and I won’t lie, I do feel like a slightly insane person for writing a single and somewhat lengthy post simply reviewing the candles that I have burned within a thirty day period…

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1. Target Be Peaceful Lavender & Eucalyptus Fragranced Soy Candle ($12.49/16.2 ounces)
  • scent description: N/A
  • It might not have burned among optimal burning criteria of the harshest candle critics but it was an addictive calming candle at a great value that performed well, lasting an insane number of hours and delivering a great but not overwhelming throw
  • smells exactly like basis description in title, with relaxing essential oils
  • I would definitely buy again if Target had not pulled out of our country or if I or someone I knew was taking a trip to the US
  • Only critique would be that there was some mild tunneling on account of the large diameter and single wick and thus the candle burned a teensy bit unevenly

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2. Bath & Body Works Brazilian Blue Waters Medium Candle ($12.50/6.3 ounces) | review
  • scent description: “escape to Brazil’s shores with notes of ocean waves, sea foam and dappled sunlight”
  • collection: Spring 2015 “Brazil”
  • It smells almost exactly as one would expect a water-note candle to smell, but the notes kind of go into weird territory with references to seemingly odourless things, more accurately described as a nice fresh watery scent with some clean light floral in the background
  • The scent does not have the most intensity but it delivers an excellent throw, especially for being a single-wick candle that is not offensive in the slightest, burned nicely with the slightest bit of tunneling at end and burned extremely close to bottom of container
  • It’s not one of my top five candle picks but it’s repurchase worthy
  • My experience with this medium candle has been consistent with the others (so this applies to all) so these are an excellent value or way of trying out scents without committing to the larger 3-Wick, often going on promotions for good deals and lasting for at least as long but with perhaps a bit less intensity
3. Bath & Body Works Sparkling Limeade Mason Jar Candle ($12.50/6 ounces)
  • scent description: “shake up a divine new drink with lemongrass, effervescent tonic water and smooth gin”
  • collection: Spring 2015 “White Barn Market”
  • Although the scent description for this candle is spot-on to my experience with the scent, this candle is nowhere near as sweet and strongly lime as its name would suggest and I would qualify the description even further by calling it a herbal/green gin and tonic scent with some slices of lime in it
  • It was a good burn, only the teensiest bit of tunneling and uneven burn towards the very end but I’m not even fussy about these kinds of things
  • This scent is a definite repurchase as it was my favourite spring scent because it matched my tastes and was quintessentially spring

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4. Bath & Body Works Champagne Toast Medium Candle ($12.50/6.3 ounces)
  • scent description: “pop, clink and sparkle with an effervescent blend of champagne, juicy nectarine and black currant”
  • collection: Holiday 2014 “Celebrate and Cheer”
  • I knew that I would like the scent from the description, as it’s a refreshing fizzy muted citrus but I do not get any hint of that black currant, ideal for the holidays
  • The scent can only be described as gorgeous and the throw was impressive, I burned it both on Christmas Eve and Morning and would likely purchase it again but only for the holiday season

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5. Bath & Body Works Amazon Falls Medium Candle ($12.50/6.3 ounces)
  • scent description: “the scent of fresh water, green rainforest fern and a hint of sunlight, inspired by the breathtaking beauty of a lush waterfall in the remote Amazon”
  • collection: Spring 2015 “Brazil”
  • The scent description only includes one thing with an actual scent, the rainforest fern, and unsurprisingly the fresh fern is the dominant note although I think I can smell some ‘water’ note or a fresh floral note in the background
  • This candle neither has the strongest throw or intensity, however, it is a nice and fresh green scent
  • I do not plan on repurchasing but I do recommend it to those that love fresh green scents and not for people that don’t, if it’s worth anything my father described the scent as a musty basement…
Any Candle-y Thoughts?
Maggie, x.