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.

The Sixth Empty Products Post

To tell you the truth, I had been waiting on my next empties post because I’m just so close to finishing some more interesting makeup products but the stuff has piled up to such a large degree that it’s time to write about these items. After all, I know myself well enough to say that if I put it off much (or really any) longer, the post will become impossibly long.

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1.OPI Nail Envy Strengthener Mini ($10?): I’ve had this nail strengthener for ages and I’ve almost used all of it up and what remains has gotten excessively gloopy but I will say that I enjoyed it while it lasted, as it worked. I wouldn’t be averse to trying it again in the future but I will likely pick something else to try out first.

2. OPI Lincoln Park After Dark Nail Polish Mini ($6): This dark almost-black-purple cream is one of my favourite polishes of all time so I was sad to see the little bit I have left in my mini become unusable and gloopy. I had it for maybe two years so it’s likely time for a repurchase in full-size.

3. Formula X Shine Top Coat Mini ($13/ full sized): I picked up Sephora’s famous top coat as part of a point perk and while I was initially in love with the formula, how fast it dried and how long it kept my polish on, I was majorly disappointed to find out that the texture changed in a measly few weeks. Will not be repurchasing unless something changes or I find out that the full size behaves entirely differently.

4. Bath & Body Works Alpine Frost Mason Jar Candle ($12.50): I really enjoyed burning this candle as soon as the holidays ended because it suited the beyond horrific weather and storming that we were having, was understated but appropriately there and didn’t have that woo-holidays sweet edge that the majority of my candles seemed to. It smelled like trees in the best way with a bit of citrus and maybe a hint of musk thrown in. It could very easily end up in my possession if it comes out back again but it’s not one that I’m overly passionate about.

5. Bath & Body Works Mahogany Teakwood 3-Wick Candle ($22.50): I finally finished burning the famous Abercrombie-and-Fitch-esque-in-the-best-possible-way candle and I definitely miss it. It smells like a warm cozy times with an attractive male with those woody notes along with a hint of lavender. It’s a lot more inoffensive than other BBW scents and this is why I think some complain about the throw – but I was a fan of the scent intensity, as I could burn three wicks in my small bedroom without finding the scent too intense and it still lingered for ages afterwards. This is definitely one of my favourites.

6. Bath & Body Works Flannel Mini Candle ($4.50): I’ve waxed poetically upon my love for this masculine-in-the-best-possible-way candle and have expressed my heartbreak upon learning that they got rid of it after a few weeks, so when I spotted a couple of the minis at the semi-annual sale, I had to grab them. I’ve burned one of them thus far. I’m hoping they will be back next year and I’ll be picking up a larger one but it’s worth noting that the scent is rather intense for a mini candle. It’s almost like Mahogany Teakwood’s big brother with much more musk and sandalwood along with the warmth along with a touch of fresh pear.

7. John Freida Frizz-Ease Daily Styling Spray ($11-15): I finally finished this curl refreshing spray after putting it on my ‘Project 10 Pan’ ages ago, which means that I’m down to my last two products and they are both very very close to the end and kind of won’t become empty. While I enjoyed this spray to refresh and enhance my waves, it was not anything special enough to warrant a repurchase in my opinion. It was lightly hydrating and detangling but didn’t do loads more than water in a spray bottle.

8. Dove Style+ Care Nourishing Curls Mousse ($6-8): While this mousse has actually been a repurchase for me and I’ve regarded it in a favourable light in posts, I’m afraid our affair is over. While it’s nice and non-drying, formulated without drying alcohols or anything of that sort, I find that it has the tendency to weigh down my hair a bit and leave a kind of funky residue in my hair if I use the amount required to get the hold I desire. I think I’m over the appeal of these treatment mousses and I’ve got to stop buying them…

9.OGX Sea Mineral Moisture Moisture-Surge Deep Treatment ($10): I’ve actually been done with this deliciously ocean-scented and texturizing conditioning treatment for ages but I’ve forgot to feature it in one of these posts. I would not say that it’s as hydrating as I expect from a deep treatment but it was hydrating enough as a conditioner, while bringing out some texture and it had delightful slip – likely because it had dimethicone in it. I don’t think it gave me the best curl definition in the world but it was not a problem either. I’m not going to repurchase it right away but I would not be opposed to doing so in the future.

10. Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream ($20): I’m quite picky about scents but this authentic zesty sugared lime one is all kinds of amazing and luckily the formula is also amazing, even for dry irritated body skin like mine that is pretty much always struggling with eczema of some sort. The texture is rich and hydrating and almost-greasy in a way that I adore – it does not just sink in and disappear. It’s filled with rich oils, butters etc. and miraculously contains fragrance but does not burn going over patches of really irritated skin. I will repurchase. I found it enjoyable that I did not go through the tub in a minute, too.

11. Bioderma Sensibio H20 ($27/500 mL): I can’t live without this gentle micellar water (or one of its better alternatives) in my stash; I’m pretty sure I’ve gone through ten and I immediately picked up another. Luckily, this is really easy to access in Canada and I’ve been finding the larger sized bottles that are much better value – and my new one even has that pump top. Even though I use cleansing oil some nights to remove makeup and the occasional gentle wipe, I reach for this water when I cannot be bothered – it removes makeup well when you soak it and it’s one of the only products that I can do the soak with because my eyes are just so sensitive. It’s fragrance-free and the gentlest thing on the earth, too.

12. Bioderma Hydrabio Lait ($25): When I was in Montreal two summers back, I saw this product for the first time and couldn’t resist purchasing it – given my love for the water from the Sensibio line and my love of all things hydrating. While this is a nice gentle milk cleanser that is lightweight, soothing and gentle, I’m not a fan of the annoying squeeze top that is beyond unreliable, nor am I a fan of the fact that its an identical formula to the Sensibio Milk except for the added fragrance. I would not purchase again. Unlike the water, this does burn my eyes when I’ve attempted to remove eye makeup with this – but otherwise it’s a nice light milk cleanser.

13. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads ($18.50): While I really enjoyed using these gentle AHA-soaked pads and found that they were pleasant to use to reap all the glorious benefits of chemical exfoliants and help to keep the skin hydrated, I have to say that I prefer my Paula’s Choice offering that might be slightly more expensive but comes with more product. These are a great AHA product with a gentle and soothing formula, formulated without the alcohol that many seem to rely on.

14. Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion ($16): Clinique’s underrated clarifying lotion that is formulated without irritating alcohol – unlike the others that could literally strip paint off the floor that they advertise – is actually one of my most life changing skincare products. It was my first foray into the world of chemical exfoliants and it changed my skin over time with its soothing hydrating base and 0.5% of BHA. It’s the product that actually started to move these bumps on my skin that never seemed to go away and were kind of everywhere, whilst reducing my mild acne breakouts. It’s one of the most economical BHA’s available and would be a great introductory one. At the moment I would not repurchase because I’m curious about Paula’s Choice’s offerings.

15. Make Up For Ever Smokey Extravagant Mascara Mini ($14): I really did enjoy the dramatic but not heavy-looking results from the mascara sample in my birthday gift from Sephora, but I did not find the mascara stayed nice for long. It took a week or two before I found myself really enjoying the volumizing drama of this mascara and unfortunately I found that it started to flake after the 6-8 week mark. I did really enjoy it while it lasted, so I wouldn’t put repurchasing completely out of the question especially because I waited a while before opening it.

Finished up anything lately?
Maggie, x.

I Used Up Things #5

DSC_0343Even though this post is not particularly exciting and most of the products are not overly exciting, – although they are a bit more varied than my average empties post – I’m excited to bring to you my thoughts on a good number of products that I’ve used up recently. I will warn you, however, that I’m feeling my typical rambly self you’re in for a rather lengthy one. And I promise that my next post of this kind will be much more interesting, including some more actual makeup products…

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L’Oreal Sublime Soft Soothing Cleansing Wipes ($12.99): I’ve mentioned my reservations about using cleansing wipes in the past, both in terms of efficacy as a cleansing method and how irritated they tend to make my sensitive skin, usually being laden with fragrance and irritating alcohol. Now these were not the most amazing makeup removing wipe in the world, but I really enjoyed the alcohol-free offering from L’Oreal because it had some moisture, with the vitamin e and was not stripping. They are my favourite wipes that I’ve tried and they do not even make my eyes burn but the packaging method did not keep them particularly most for ever – to be honest, I kept these around for so long that the last wipe or two had to be wet with water to remove makeup effectively.

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Creamy Cleanser ($10-12): After likely a year of use, at least once per day, I have run out of this gentle non-foaming gel-cream cleanser and I’ve really enjoyed it for its gentleness and ability to remove makeup decently to well. It has a similar texture to Cetaphil but I find it more effective at cleansing and gentle, free of harsh detergents, fragrance and other irritants. I might repurchase it but for now I’m using the creamier Extra Gentle Cleanser from Neutrogena.

Jergen’s Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer ($9-10): Back last spring and summer, I was really enjoying using this moisturizer come gradual tanner to add some glow with zero upkeep. Even though I’m fair, I use the darker shade and I find that it gives a natural looking glow that does not take too much time to build up and most impressively, there’s no irritating alcohol or anything in the formula that pisses off my fickle dry eczema-infected skin. Plus, I rather enjoy how it functions as a nice rich but non-greasy moisturizer, smells like caramel and doesn’t stick to dry patches or anything. A few weeks back, I was feeling kind of pale and couldn’t find my regular moisturizer so I gave this a go again to stop looking quite so pale and two applications later, I’ve reached the end of the tube. It will be repurchased, as this one was – this was either my second or third bottle and I have another.

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L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara ($9-10): After using this tube of mascara for a frightening length of time, – it may have been a year – I figure that it’s time to retire this loved mascara and it’s starting to flake something and might possibly lead to irritated eyes on a few occasions. It’s definitely one of my favourites, providing impressive separation and definition with a nice dose of both length and volume without any sort of clumping action in sight.

L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara ($9-10): Despite initially taking dislike to just how clumpy and wet this mascara was at first, I found myself enjoying it quite a bit as soon as it dried out some as it became less wet and provided less of a clumpy and more of a voluminous big lashed kind of look. However, there was only maybe 6 weeks that this mascara was particularly nice for – after that, the mascara began to flake quite badly and irritate my eyes slightly. Definitely a nice dramatic mascara for when it lasted, though.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal in Barely Branded ($9-10): I’m a big fan of this shimmery champagne cream eyeshadow-come-base and after having the cream product for well over a year, I’ve used up a great deal of the product, hitting pan (with a huge dip) and at this point it’s so dry that its unusable. I imagine I will purchase another in the near future. However, I do believe that MAC Paint Pots, while more pricy, have a creamier formula and stay creamy for far longer.

MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set in Quiet Brunette ($21): I purchased this pigmented brow mascara back in June and I’ve been enjoying it tremendously ever since, especially when I’ve been in a lazy mood and can’t be bothered to actually fill in my brows – it’s pigmented enough to work through the brows on its own to fill sparse areas and add shape and it truly is waterproof so it holds my crazy brows in place like no other. Unfortunately, my bottle is now near empty and so dry its kind of unusable. It’s not an absolutely perfect match, as its a light brown shade with some ashiness but not quite enough for my brows that are kind of grey but I loved it so I would definitely consider purchasing again. I may try to get a use or two more out of the bottle because I do not want to be without it.

OGX Kukui Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($7.99): I’m afraid that this shampoo is one of those products that has been sacrificed to sensible family members who have the audacity to throw out shared beauty products when they are empty, so it’s not in the picture. Alas, I really enjoyed this gentle shampoo because it worked without being stripping in the least, wasn’t too heavy despite its gentleness and had that amazing warm scent. I suppose I will repurchase it, given that it performs up there with the best of shampoos, even those at a much higher price bracket.

Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo ($6-8): I’m still rather new to the whole dry shampoo game but after nearly a year, I’ve finished up this affordable offering and I quite enjoyed it, for freshening the roots a bit and adding some body at the crown and roots. However, I found it could have quite a difficult white cast and a baby-powder like texture that were difficult to work with granted that I have wavy hair that does not like to be brushed in between washings. It did work, though, and I might go back to it in the future.

Pantene No Crunch Curls Whip ($6-8): A few months back, I picked up this hydrating mousse in hopes of finding it to be a nice mousse with hold and bounce with a bit of a moisture boost, without that drying effect that many can have. Whilst, I found that this mousse is anything but drying, I’ve found that it actually weighs my waves/ loose curls down and adds an irritating residue to my hair that just feels weird – probably from the hefty amount of mineral oil and petrolatum in the formula.

Sally Hansen Kwik Of Moisturizing Nail Polish Remover ($4-5): After a tragic incident where I laid this magical polish-removing tub on the ground on its side after use without noticing, there was a significant spill and as a result, the remover never was the same. I saw another one on sale and it has been purchased.

Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Spiced Apple Toddy ($22.50): I absolutely adore those warm cider-y scents – especially in the winter – and I burned this strong spicy cider scent constantly since the beginning of November to well into the first month of the year. It was hella strong in terms of throw, so in my small room I tended to burn it one wick at a time and it still delivered that warm comforting quintessentially-winter punch and I would definitely recommend it if you’re into these warm and spicy kind of scents – especially if you’re not someone who loves the sickly sweet scents that seem to dominate around this time of year. Believe it or not, there is no hint of caramel in this one.

Used up anything worthy of note lately?
Maggie, x.

I Used Up Products #4

DSC_1358I’m still on that I-now-have-time-to-blog-relax-sleep-and-bathe high but I’m doubly as excited to be bringing you a long overdue empties post that includes what I think are more interesting products. Alas, there are still no makeup items to be found…

DSC_1361Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($10-12 CDN) | review

In short, I really enjoyed using and might have even loved this budget-friendly cleansing oil but the packaging has irritated me to no end, spilling and leaking everywhere, refusing to dispense the last of the product and the label easily rolling off. It’ s a good one, effective at removing makeup – but I’m sure there are slightly more hardcore ones to be found – and leaving the skin (and eyes) cleansed and nourished with no sign of irritation. I’m still on the hunt trying other cleansing oil options but I would recommend this one packaging aside and I might very well return to it.

By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil ($13/26 CDN)

Being interested in the benefits of oils, rosehip in particular, I picked this amber-tinged bottle up from Winners maybe a year ago and it has been well loved and easily worth the money. I was using it as a nighttime treatment or dry, irritated skin treatment but over the last few much I had switched up my routine and had been applying it as a serum for extra oomph – and I loved it like that. It definitely does what it claims to, deeply nourishing and soothing the skin with its dry oil texture and helping to brighten the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation over time. I would definitely repurchase but I may be receiving a different oil variation in a little less than two weeks, if you know what I’m getting at.

La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense ($29.99 CDN) | review

I picked this “localized redness intensive serum” back in the spring when I was hankering to introduce a daily serum into my routine and while there was nothing outwardly bad about the product in the slightest, I harbored lukewarm feelings towards it. I enjoyed that it was in stable packaging, was rather affordable and that it was fragrance free, but it fell short of the claims merely providing some extra hydration and a little bit of soothing action. I don’t plan on repurchasing but I wouldn’t completely count it out as my skin didn’t have any adverse reaction to it.

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Aveeno Eczema Care Body Wash ($13.99 CDN)

While this is one of the most dull-sounding products ever, this soap and fragrance free body wash has to be one of my holy-grail products as it soothes and does not irritate my quite severe eczema on my body and my general extremely sensitive skin. It’s rather nice for shaving too – and I will keep on purchasing this, obviously. I’d tell anyone with dry or sensitive skin to give this a go.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP Lipid Replenishing Body Care ($29.99 CDN)

Yet again, this is quite a basic-sounding product but it’s equally as much of a live-saver because of – you guessed it – my extremely irritated skin that suffers from eczema. It’s formulated without alcohol, fragrance or any of that irritating stuff and does not only include soothing and hydrating ingredients to combat skin issues; there’s a heady quantity of niacinamide, a cell-communicating ingredient that aids in the repair of the skin barrier that can reduce itching in the future and present the condition from reforming. It’s not a miracle cure but it’s the best thing that I’ve tried. I will warn you, however, that because the cream is rich but lightweight and not a balm or butter texture, it does sting over really irritated areas which isn’t so much fun – however, that does provide an incentive not to scratch. If you suffer from dry skin and general itchiness, I would give this a go.

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L’Oreal Oleo-Therapy Oil-Infused Conditioner ($7.99 CDN)

It appears that I have forgotten to photograph this budget-friendly conditioner but I’m committed to including it anyway. It was a nice rich but not overly heavy conditioner that was impressively potent for a drugstore offering, formulated with oils and without silicones. However, it wasn’t mind blowingly amazing and I would purchase it again, but I might be tempted to try different variations from L’Oreal’s line first. My only hesitation is that the mineral-oil in the formula might be weighing my hair down slightly but overall, I find this to be comparable to these higher end oil-enriched conditioners.

Pureology Precious Oil Softening Hair Masque ($50-55 CDN)

Once again, product from the Pureology Hair Care range does not disappoint on either of the three fronts, the spa-esque fragrance one, the efficacy side or the concentration front. I have an inkling suspicion that its luxury ranges like this one that the L’Oreal Oleo-Therapy line was designed to emulate and while I can see the comparison, this luxurious masque delivers results that are worth the increased price tag. With using this 2/3 washes on my huge mass of long wavy curls, this lasted very close to a year which is rather legendary, detangled hair phenomenally and left my hair very nourished without being weighed down in the slightest. This is on the repurchase list, although I might try one from a different Pureology range because I’m curious. There’s also the fact that I’ve gotten more compliments about how I smell after using products from Pureology than I have wearing any fragrance. And it has a heady concentration of oils and does not contain silicones.

Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair ($40 CDN)

I actually finished up this heat-protectant come leave-in conditioner ages ago but I just spotted it in my emtpies bag and had to talk about it. My only qualm with the product is that it doesn’t have a super-rich texture and that its rather expensive for the limited amount of product that you get but I think it’s a phenomenal leave-in styler/treatment if you don’t want to weigh down your hair and you have hair that cannot tolerate a lot of conditioning products. I enjoyed the effect the protein had on my hair and that it was not loaded with a ton of fillers, particularly when I used it prior to blow drying and/or straightening my hair as it left that smooth but lightweight feel. I’m not sure if I would repurchase it based on the sheer quantity of hair that I have and the fact that it contains dimethicone near the end of the ingredient list.

Bumble and Bumble Texture Hair (Un) Dressing Creme ($17/32.75 CDN)

As I mentioned in Saturday’s wishlist post, I’ve recently finished up my two ounce bottle of this versatile texturizing cream-gel and am sad to see the tube end. I will be repurchasing this. Two things that are really great about this Bumble and Bumble gem is that its mega-concentrated and that it works well across different hair conditions. I like it on my wavy-curly hair as it enhances curl while adding volume, texture and grittiness to my hair which I definitely need on the first few days of a wash. I love it, I just wish there wasn’t any silicones in it at all, but at least they only occur at the halfway point of the ingredient list. I also enjoy that this has a great deal of hold, especially considering that it is a cream product.

DSC_1362Bath & Body Works Mini Candles in Pumpkin Caramel Latte, Wasabi Apple and Flannel ($3/12)

Given my candle-burning obsession that began at the end of the summer, you had to be expecting that some candle empties would be appearing soon. While I enjoyed all three candles, I can easily place the three candles in a hierarchical order in this manner. I liked the typical-caramel scented Pumpkin Caramel Latte candle but wouldn’t rush out to buy it again because I might be getting caramel’d out and the scent is potent enough on this mini candle that I would be hesitant to pick up the three-wick version. I really enjoyed the unique Wasabi Apple candle and will certainly pick up another if the scent returns – the fresh apple scent was mellowed down with a cut of wasabi and I liked how relaxing and refreshing it was. The Flannel candle was definitely my favourite and it might just be my favourite candle scent ever and I went to repurchase the larger size of this scent a while back and was heartbroken to learn that it was only available as part of the Fall line-up. It has that slightly masculine and spicy vibe that Mahogany Teakwood shares paired with more of a rich muskiness, a pinch of citrus and less woodiness. I will be snapping this candle up the next time I spot it, believe me.

 What products have you finished up as of late?
Maggie, x.

I USED UP PRODUCTS #3

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I’m so close to using up more interesting products (such as actual makeup and things that you haven’t heard me mention before in one of these posts) but the products keep on piling up and I’m self-aware enough to know that if I don’t write this post now that I’ll keep on putting it off and the list will get massive; without further ado, I thought I would share my thoughts on products that I’ve used up.

Pureology SuperSmooth Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($60/ 1L)

While I can’t say that living at home during university is without its advantages — being able to escape campus and having the ability to spend irritational proportions of spending money on beauty products, to name a few — but along with the impracticalities of the commute, living at home leaves you subject to members of your family throwing out empty beauty products before you have the chance to stash them away. I’m sure you can now guess why I’m without the liter sized packaging of this one. Anyways, if you’ve been with me for the long-haul I’m sure you are aware of my intense love for this gentle shampoo. It seems really expensive but the litre sized lasted me for over a year even with other family members using it quite regularly and it’s the most amazing gentle shampoo that smells amazing and herbally. It doesn’t cause dermatitis on my scalp given that it’s formulated without sulfates but even more than that it’s a very concentrated shampoo offering that is quite possibly the gentlest shampoo that I’ve ever tried. I haven’t repurchased yet but I will be repurchasing this one or another variant from the same brand.

Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Firming Moisturizer in Medium to Tan ($8.99/ 200 mL)

The whole firming claim of this product is ridiculous, so although it’s not a concern of mine, if it is a concern of yours I doubt this will help any other than reducing the appearance of cellulite because it darkens the skin; however, the firming line doesn’t contain irritating alcohols like the other and is fragranced with caramel itself rather than anything artificial and potentially much more irritating. The gradual tanner was a soothing hydrator on my eczema-ridden skin, ranking up with the best of body cream, interestingly enough. However, it was a natural-looking self-tanner that went nicely over irritated eczema patches all over the body without requiring any sort of exfoliation beforehand. I am nearing the end of my second bottle now, so obviously I’ve repurchased but I haven’t been using it as much because I’ve accidentally acquired some colour of my own and I’ve been reaching for richer creams on my legs that don’t require any sort of precision. I will repurchase again, however and I already have. And it smells like authentic caramel and not horrible at all.

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Aveeno Skin-Relief Body Wash ($7.99/ 354 mL)

This body wash is fragrance-free and is the only thing I know of that washes the body with it’s soap-free formula whilst soothing the skin and not irritating my sore eczema in the slightest. My legs are my worst area and this is a life-saver when used to shave. I’ve repurchased this for ages but I spotted a near-identical formulation at Target titled the Eczema-Care Body Wash and picked it up when I couldn’t find this one – the only different I notice is that the packaging titles it as being ideal for the skin condition and that it costs the same for slightly less product. It’s a no-frills and unexciting product but if you have sensitive or irritated skin, this is the most amazing thing in existence.

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Boots No 7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm ($9/ 150 mL)

I’ve rambled on about this one enough, in posts such as the full-review here so I’ll try to keep it concise. It’s not exactly a balm-texture but rather seems to be a thick and rich cream textured cleanser that leaves the skin soothed and nourished, while removing face makeup like a champ. It doesn’t irritate the skin in the slightest and feels luxurious with its spa-esque scent despite its impressive pricetag. I technically haven’t repurchased this one yet because I went for the extremely similar Hot Cloth Cleanser from the same line instead and I’ll either purchase that one or the ‘cleansing balm’ again.

Bioderma Sensibio H20 ($22/ 250 mL)

Unsurprisingly, I’ve gone through another bottle of the fragrance-free makeup removing cleansing water that everyone raves about; it feels like water but removes makeup well with no eye irritation (or skin irritation) even on my sensitive eyes that seem to burn and turn red with just about anything else. It’s like irritation-free cleansing wipes in a bottle, so its the best for taking with you when you’re staying overnight with friends and I use it most nights to remove my eye makeup with almost no-effort. I will definitely be repurchasing this but I have been really enjoying the L’Oreal alternative that works just about the same at half of the price…

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L’Oreal Professionnel Fix Anti-Frizz ($20/ 250 mL)

Because my wavy-curly hair is a menace, I rarely heat style it and hairspray is a nightmare to get out of my tangly hair so it’s taken me years to use up this hairspray but it’s a nice one. It ranks among the best for keeping style in my hair through humid conditions and it has a nice but un-offensive smell but it can get a bit crunchy but I used this for prom and my curls held for about 24 hours throughout the extreme humidity. I wouldn’t be opposed to repurchasing but I picked up the L’Oreal Sleekissime for a change and it appears to be quite similar.

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Maybelline The Falsies Black Drama Mascara ($9)

As much as it saddens me to write this, my all-time favourite mascara has dried up so much that it is no longer usable — I do love the formula when it has dried up a bit, however. It’s not clumpy looking and adds buildable volume to my lashes that I rather enjoy without feeling heavy and it’s not a menace to remove. I will definitely be repurchasing, although I’ve been trying a few new ones in the meantime. It’s worth the hype. The only thing that would improve this one would be a slightly drier formula.

What have you used up lately?
Maggie, x.

I Used Up Products #2

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Considering that I’m actually someone who enjoys these posts and their counterparts in video form, it might seem odd that I rarely put these kinds of posts up but in all honesty, I take forever to use up actual makeup despite frequent use – with the exception of mascara – and generally tend to run out of the same things quickly: conditioner, hair product, Bioderma and mascara, so I don’t always feel that these are the most interesting things to discuss. Nevertheless, I figure that I would give these a fair (hopefully concise) review.

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water ($22 CDN):

I’ve mentioned before the severity of my eye sensitivity and dryness but I have to mention it again in light of why I absolutely adore this product. Despite being the only product that has never burned or stung my eyes in the makeup removal process, it actually does remove makeup effectively and is the lazy girl’s dream with the ease that it removes makeup. It’s pretty much like makeup wipes in a bottle for those who like me have skin that is very reactive to makeup wipes and cannot use them. Bioderma is a simple product but a great one at that, being able to remove makeup effectively without any irritation involved. However, I’ve found cleansers that remove makeup as well on the face that I prefer, so unless I’m being lazy I only use the water to remove eye makeup.

Maybelline One By One Volum’ Express Mascara ($9-10):

I’m not typically one to exhibit diverse reactions to mascaras here but I promise that I’m not that indifferent to each mascara that I try and that the fact that I like this one (but don’t absolutely adore it) speaks to its merit. I’m quite a fan of the synthetic brush that is shaped somewhat like a football as it provides loads of definition and separation with its volume and the mascara in general, I suppose. However, it’s one of those mascaras that do enhance the lashes in an impressive way but manage to look relatively natural even on the bottom lashes. This mascara is a nice option for lighter days that removes easily and doesn’t look too full on.

L’Oreal Power Moisture Moisture Infusion Mask ($5-7 CDN):

Considering that I included this hair product in one of my first monthly favourites in the summer of 2013, it is sort of shocking that it’s a product that I feel rather indifferent towards but I think that when I enjoyed it my hair was in a good state and benefited from this basic conditioner parading as a mask that doesn’t do anything negative for your hair but doesn’t really do anything either. I think I liked it at first because of its light texture and that it did not weigh down the hair and while that is still true, it didn’t provide any sort of true nourishment and was not concentrated in the least. The quest for an affordable conditioner that I like continues…

DevaCurl One Condition ($26 CDN):

While I would rank this conditioner more highly than the former, it was not right for my fine-textured tangly wavy-curly hair as it did not provide that rich nourishment and detangling power. It has a really nice herbal-y scent and doesn’t weigh down hair in the slightest while moisturizing but it’s not enough for me. Ingredient-wise, it’s particularly great on the no-silicone front and I can see those requiring less hydration and whatnot loving this. However, I have gotten good results with this as a product for conditioner-washing but this is a rather pricy option for something with that purpose…

DevaCurl B’Leave-In ($26 CDN):

If you are too a member of the curlier-hair camp, you surely have firsthand experience of the whole my-hair-has-a-mind-of-its-own phenomenon and unless everything in your hair routine is in order, the worst hair day might still just happen. I loved this protein-based curl-enhancer and volumizer when my routine was all sorted last summer and I was consistently pretty pleased with the whole haircare routine, finding it to add that life towards the roots and in the less-curly sections of my head in a way that nothing else could but when things started to spiral out of control hair-wise, I cast this aside, believing it not to do anything and slowly used it up. However, I’m convinced that this is one of those products that can really boost your hair but only can provide results if the rest of your routine is in order as it doesn’t provide hold. I used this up a few months back but now I’m really considering repurchasing it and giving it another go…

Have you tried any of these?

Maggie, x.