Products I’ve Used Up | Take Two

Let’s skip as much of the introductory ramble as possible. I finished some products and I wrote a lot about them…


DevaCurl No-Poo Zero Lather Cleansing Conditioner ($32 CDN/ 355 mLs): Please forgive the old packaging of my bottle; I had forgotten that I still had a quarter of a bottle left underneath my sink. I’ve been trying it out again and my feelings haven’t changed. I really like the minty citrus scent and the slip that co-wash leaves in my thirsty tangly hair. Unfortunately, this product tends to make my scalp itchy in ways that conditioner washing with straight conditioners do not. I expect that my scalp hates the peppermint oil, which is a known irritant and when my scalp starts to itch, I can easily start to have an eczema outbreak… I didn’t really find it any more cleansing than a standard conditioner and although my curls liked the slip of this product, I just couldn’t do it on more than an occasional basis. It also gave my fine hair limper roots, which I did not appreciate.

Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Conditioner ($10 CDN/ 385 mLs): Loosely speaking, this product is kind of sulfate, silicone and drying alcohol free. It does contain standard alcohol but as far as I am aware, it’s acting as a solvent in the formula. I’m not sure how I feel about this but I definitely did not experience any sort of dryness as a result. It has a thicker consistency that does impart some moisture but isn’t as intensely hydrating and as slippy as I would prefer. It was a fine conditioner but it wasn’t my favourite because of these shortcomings. It’ s a good affordable conditioner with aloe, glycerin, coconut oil and fatty alcohols. Unfortunately, I did not find it to be curl clumping either. I feel like it would be better for those with thicker hair textures and less tangly hair than mine.

Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupuacu Frizz Defense Hair Masque ($16.99 CDN/ 354 mLs): I went an ordered this mask from Ulta because it was aimed at wavy hair – and I have waves with some curls thrown in there – and while I liked it, I wasn’t in love. It’s silicone-free, doesn’t have any drying ingredients and actually appears to be protein free. It had a thick texture that was smoothing and moisturizing but it didn’t do anything special for my finer strands. I think it would be better for thicker strands and those who are protein sensitive.

Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Mask ($16.99 CDN/ 354 mLs): This has to be my favourite hair mask that I’ve ever tried and I liked this so much when I finished it – over a year ago – that I held onto the empty package like a true hoarder. It’s aimed at hair curlier than mine with higher porosity but I love it for my high porosity 2c fine hair. It has great slip and is super concentrated, providing intense moisture to my strands that help curls to clump, especially at the lengths. It has some protein in it too, which my hair appreciates but it’s very moisturizing overall and is very concentrated. The texture is rich but not heavy. I recently acquired a new tub and I’ve been loving having it in my life again. It’s silicone free and drying alcohol free.

Love Beauty & Planet Argan Oil & Lavender Conditioner ($10-12 CDN/ 400 mL): This was an impulse purchase that I made upon seeing that the product was silicone free and seemed to have an interesting ingredient list. I really liked it. It’s silicone-free, has nothing drying in it and doesn’t really contain anything that could build up on the hair. It has a great spa scent, moderate moisture and great slip. It’s a great conditioner that hydrates without adding weight and contains fatty alcohols, your usual slip agents, along with coconut and argan oil. It helped to clump my curls and added no weight to my hair. It worked as a standard conditioner and as a leave-in. I would buy again, especially because of how easy it is to come across in stores here.

Suave Essentials Ocean Breeze Conditioner ($2.77 CDN/ 887 mL): The Suave Essentials conditioners are one of those things that frustratingly aren’t readily available in Canada. However, I picked one up when ordering other products from Target online and I have to say that I was impressed with the light and thin conditioner. It’s silicone free and is mainly formulated with slip agents and moisturizing fatty alcohols. This makes it a great conditioner to use as a co-wash on my fine tangly hair and as a weightless leave-in conditioner. The thin runny texture is very curl clumping and leaves me with more volume than others. I’ll buy again when I place another order online.

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner ($21 US/ 190 mL): These milky toners from Paula’s Choice have been an essential part of my skincare routine for a few years now and I wouldn’t want to switch them out. They add another layer of weightless moisture and prevent transepidermal water loss. There’s loads of anti-irritants, antioxidants and hydrating ingredients and nothing known to be irritating. It’s essentially a serum in liquid form that’s very calming with the ability to help repair the barrier.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Smoothing Treatment ($37 US/ 30 mLs): This 10% alpha hydroxy acid solution wasn’t an instant favourite but I grew to love the dual chemical exfoliant and serum enough to repurchase it, even before my bottle was empty. I find it to be an effective exfoliant and water-binder, with lactic, glycolic, malic, tartaric and salicylic acid – at effective concentrations – ,helping to smooth, brighten and even out my complexion. I find that the 0.5% of salicylic acid that the formula includes is enough to help prevent my skin from breaking out on my chin for the most part and I find the antioxidants and anti-irritants make the formula very easy to tolerate.

NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base ($33 CDN/ 7 mL): Despite having dry skin, I have somewhat oilier eyelids that are prone to creasing and wearing through eyeshadow in general. This is one of the few eyeshadow primers that I’ve tried that has consistently reduced the creasing I experience and increased the wear-time of eyeshadow. I’ve repurchased this.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara in Mystic Black ($13.99 CDN/ 8.5 mL): This dry volumizing formula has been a fantastic discovery in the last year or so. It’s so dry that it meets my standards for volume and curl without the risk of getting everywhere during application that wetter formulas have. It creates lots of drama in the lashes without being overly clumpy. My only complaint is that the tube gets grimy and the wand gets gunky earlier on than other mascaras so I find myself having to repurchase more often, which is probably a good thing for my eye health. I have repurchased and I will buy more soon.

What have you used up recently?
Maggie, x.

The Edit | Curly Girl Method Gels

Now that I’ve gotten back into following The Curly Girl Method with renewed vigour, I’m really noticing that I’m going through a good amount of the products I’ve been hoarding. My bag of empty products has rapidly been filling with hair products and as a true product junkie, I have lots of thoughts to share on them. Today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gels that I have finished up. This is going to seem like a lot of product but in all honesty, my hair eats up gel and I need lots of it to have consistently defined hair. Otherwise, my hair willjust wilt, tangle and frizz. It’s worth noting that I have a ton of fine long hair, a mix of waves and some curls in terms of texture and hair that is quite porous.

DevaCurl Arc AnGel ($60 CDN/ 946 mLs)

This gel is my absolute favourite in the humid summer because my hair frizzes out and wilts overnight and throughout the day the least with this gel. It provides great almost firm hold and isn’t particularly drying, crunchy or heavy for that level of hold but doesn’t give my curls the enhancing boost that Ultra Defining Gel does, especially in the cooler months when my curls need more encouragement. It’s a gel heavy in glycerin but it has nowhere near the amount of protein that the other gels in the line have, so it could be very good for hair that doesn’t love protein as much as mine does. I also frustratingly find that by the time I get towards the end of these large bottles, the texture of the gel starts to change and doesn’t seem to work quite so well. As it gets closer to the summer, I want to experiment with this one again.

DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel ($30 CDN/ 355 mLs)

Probably because my hair absorbs everything and seems to resist forming a protective cast like nothing else, I find that I need a good amount of this gel but I also find that my waves and curls are a bit bouncier and more spirally with this gel, especially in the cooler months when my curls tend to lie flat and wilt. It’s a touch more than medium hold and can enhance and tighten up my curls, without being drying or weighing my hair down. I wish I didn’t have to use quite so much and that it gave slightly more hold on my temperamental hair that resists looking decent by the next day. It has loads of protein which my fine porous hair loves and also is glycerin heavy. It’s my favourite of the gels in the cooler months, I reckon.

Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel ($34.76 CDN/ 250 mLs)

I think this was actually the product that started my love of traditional gels, back when I tried it years ago. I found it for a great price at Winners and tried it again and remember why I liked it. My gripe with this product is that it’s expensive at full retail price, especially because the hold is on the lower-end of medium and in order to get good results, I have to use so much of this gel. It’s really hydrating and helps my curls to clump nicely but doesn’t quite have the structure and enhancement of the Deva gels. I will note that I don’t experience much frizz with this one and that I’ve had good hair days with it. This gel might be better for those who prefer a lighter hold or with a tighter curl pattern. I do love the fresh and clean scent. Glycerin is towards the bottom of the ingredient list with this one and protein appears near there as well.

Shea Moisture Mongogo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Styling Gel ($14.99 CDN/ 236 mLs)

I didn’t love this gel but that was because of first time buyer error mainly. I bought the gel along with the other products in the high porosity line that I adore because I felt some sort of need to complete the collection. It didn’t work for me as a harder hold gel because it has a soft hold, as it’s marketed to. It’s smoothing and moisturizing but lacks the hard hold that I need. I do think those with tighter curls would like this if they want moisture and softer hair. I didn’t mind it as a refresher on damp hair. It has glycerin, shea butter, aloe and a variety of oils.

Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupacu Frizz Defense Styling Gel-Cream ($13.99 CDN/ 236 mLs)

I bought this cream gel because it was designed for a wavier texture and remembered liking cream gel products in the past, but it wasn’t right for me either as a main styler. I think it might work for those with coarser hair textures but not for my finer hair as a holding product. It didn’t weigh my hair down and it did add moisture but I didn’t find that it had much for hold or curl clumping ability. I did find it worked quite well on damp hair to refresh because it added that moisture and enough hold to bring curls back to life.

Equate Hard Hold Styling Gel ($2.27 CDN/ 350 mLs)

I purchased this affordable gel after seeing that its ingredients were similar to the cheapie gels available in the United States that those who follow the Curly Girl Method seem to adore such as the LA Looks offerings. The hold was moderate and it was somewhat curl clumping but I wasn’t blown away by this one. I did get fairly good results using this gel in combination with another cream or enhancing product but I think that the Sport Gel variation was my favourite out of the three varieties I tried. It’s glycerin free and contains a small amount of protein.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

 

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.