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.

The Weekend Post |The Current Shower Staples

 

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If you’re anything like me, there’s something instantly compelling about discovering the products that other human beings use and obviously you derive some sort of borderline twisted pleasure from being nosy and seeing the products that one uses in the shower. Because I tend to go on and on about products and I share my shower with my brother and other family members and therefore have a million products in there, I thought I would share my picks for the moment.

Herbal Essences Naked Moisture Cleansing Conditioner ($6-8)

I’m not entirely new to the whole cleansing conditioner thing, having used the L’Oreal EverCreme version previously with fairly good success and doing some plain old conditioner washing with similar success, but I’m still no expert on the whole thing. However, I would say that I’ve really been enjoying this one as its potent mint scent feels refreshing, particularly on the scalp and it both seems to cleanse nicely without weighing my hair down where my hair is the finest and works nicely as a conditioner to boot. I appreciate that this does work as a truly 2 in 1 product for me when I’m feeling lower key and the only thing I would change is the dimethicone (a non-water-soluble silicone) in the formula.

L’Oreal EverCreme Intense Nourishing Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($8-10)

I must admit that I’ve only had this shampoo in my possession for a few weeks but since I’ve picked it up, I’ve been loving this nourishing shampoo. Out of all of the shampoos that I’ve tried this comes closest to the Pureology SuperSmooth for gently cleansing the hair with its concentrated but gentle formula, leaving my hair relatively untangled as a result without any sort of weighing down action going on. It has a nice subtle scent and works nicely on my finer wavy-curly hair. While it does contain a silicone, it’s one that does not build up on the hair and I appreciate this.

Pureology Precious Oil Softening Hair Masque ($50)

I’m beginning to realize that I’ve neglected declaring my love for this rather indulgent but phenomenal hair masque after my initial ravings months ago. I was not using it for a bit in fear of running out of it but now that I’ve returned to it, I’ve been loving the concentrated silicone-free formula that somehow manages to detangle hair and nourish it like nothing else in this world with a hefty amount of coconut and sunflower oil without weighing hair down in the slightest. It’s amazing but pricy and I’m a huge fan of the brand in general.

L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Replenishing Mask ($6-8)

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been very disappointed overall in my adventures in the drugstore for effective masks and also that this one has broken that streak a few weeks back here and my thoughts have not changed on the subject. While its not quite as concentrated as the Pureology, this offering is nourishing on my hair and definitely has a nice slip to it for detangling, despite only containing a water-soluble silicone and is effective without weighing down my hair in the slightest and it has a nice concentration of amino acids that I haven’t noticed a huge effect from yet but are impressive nevertheless. If only the scent wasn’t quite so synthetic-floral…

Aveeno Eczema Care Body Wash ($7-8)

While I haven’t raved about this endlessly, I’m sure that regular readers are aware of my love for this gentle and soothing soap-free and fragrance-free body wash and I couldn’t do this post without including this one. This is easily one of my most repurchased products for good reason; it’s not too expensive and it works for my extremely sensitive eczema-prone skin, even in its most horrific state. This is a really fantastic but basic product that I would recommend to anyone with body skin issues – and I can use it on my acne-prone back without any issues. I apologize if that was verging into TMI territory…

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish ($18)

I picked this up as my first foray into the British-based company (and into body scrubs in general) when I spotted the brand on for three for two at Shopper’s Drugmart maybe six weeks back and I have been particularly impressed. I’m not usually into that whole pink packaging thing but I do enjoy the novelty of it and the whole “now he’ll never know that all this time you’ve been flaking it” slogan and the subtly warm scent. Beyond all of those details, I’ve found this to not be too abrasive on my sensitive skin but leave it smooth and hydrated afterwards even on my rough patches of skin. Obviously, I don’t use it on broken out irritated patches of skin but it doesn’t seem to harsh on other patches compared to other scrubs that I’ve heard about and tried once or twice. This product has been one that really has provided that pampered feeling and hasn’t seemed to irritate things further.

What are your current shower staples?
Maggie, x.

January 2014 Favourites

Pureology Precious Oils Masque, MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder, Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation, By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil, Maybelline Hi-lighting Bronzer in Deep Bronze, L'Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black, MAC All That Glitters Eyeshadow, MAC Coquette Eyeshadow
Pureology Precious Oils Masque, MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder, Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation, By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil, Maybelline Hi-lighting Bronzer in Deep Bronze, L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black, MAC All That Glitters Eyeshadow, MAC Coquette Eyeshadow

I’ve mentioned stress in passing before but I’m someone who legitimately suffers from anxiety and I’ve been anxious this month, not sleeping well, constantly tired and the like. It’s been one of those months when I’ve both felt and looked disheveled constantly, barely able to remember to wash my hair, apply nail polish and to slap some makeup on my face on the regular. However, I’ve had some good discoveries and rediscovered some products this month – this is a lengthier list than my usual but I’ve been loving some different things and continuing loving some of the same.

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation ($11-14 CDN)

This was one of those products that I bought at the worst possible time for testing it; It was during that sore and irritated winter skin phase that I’m sure we all can relate to hating every product during – even more than that I was having texture issues from breakouts, you know how that goes. Pretty much I arbitrarily thought that this foundation was worsening my skin frustration and was convinced it was the wrong shade when in fact, although it’s not absolutely perfect it is still pretty good. I wear the lightest shade, 110 Porcelain Ivory, which I will note is not a particularly fair shade but rather a moderately fair one with relatively neutral undertones. This formula is dewy but not so overwhelmingly so that I don’t think a combo skin could wear it and provides medium coverage that is slightly build able but what I appreciate about the cream foundation is its hydration factor and it’s ability to sit nicely on drier skin after being worked in. The only thing about this foundation that is slightly irritating is that it takes some work to apply and isn’t a slap-and-go kind of foundation.

L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black ($9-11 CDN)

If you’re both as fickle and as beauty obsessed as me, there are very few products that remain constant in your routine as the months go by and the seasons change but this has proven to be one of the rare exceptions for me. I’ve used it almost daily ever since I picked it up a few months ago. It’s a rich black shade that is long wearing and the felt-tip applicator is foolproof for creating thin kitten flicks on the regular in under a minute.

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

This would be another choice of mine that should not be a surprise as I’ve featured it in a few posts in the last little while but it’s deserving of mention here. I’ve used oils in the past with minimal success as all-over facial moisturizers but after I picked this one up to use on top of moisturizers and nightly treatment, my feelings changed. It brings that much needed luminosity to the face, has impressive soothing powers and really helps to heal skin irritation and fade fresh scars that are left behind. It’s dry oil texture took some getting used to, however – it’s not that typical oil-y texture that I’ve come to expect.

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MAC All That Glitters eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)

This has been granted a few mentions here in the past month  so I’ll try to give a quick recap but I can’t promise that it’ll be truly brief. After going through two of these in the past and repurchasing this at the start of the month, I’m confident to say that this is the perfect everyday lid colour. It’s a sheeny, nicely-textured peachy gold shade that is darker than a traditional champagne but darker than say a gold or brown shade. It instantly makes me look alive when I apply it.

MAC Coquette eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)

At the very beginning of the month, I walked into MAC and after not buying anything there in what felt for ages, impressed myself by only picking up a few things and this “satin” shade that is matte in my view but exceptionally blend able for the finish was one of the shadows. I complained to the MAC girl about my brows always looking too ‘red’ and she said she suffered from the same thing as well until she used this shade and I was sold even before she put it through my brows. It’s a disgusting-looking cool toned medium grey-brown that looks quite ashy but it’s perfect on – natural while still providing definition. Charcoal Brown, you’ve been replaced; cool-toned brunettes take note.

Pureology Precious Oils Masque ($50 CDN)

If you haven’t just stumbled on this post by chance, you had to know that this was coming. After experimenting with more affordable conditioning treatments for months and suffering dry hair and tangles galore, this wow-ed me upon first use – and I’m not easily wowed. It’s a concentrated treatment, rich and nourishing containing a good quantity of oils that both helps to detangle the hair and helps to stop the tangles from forming and manages to keep my fine wavy-curly hair nourished without being weighed down and looking limp. I know it’s ridiculously expensive but I’m pleased to report it’s worth it.

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder ($30 CDN)

One of my first posts on this blog was my review for this powder which I wear in Light, which is the fairest shade with yellow undertones. I had stopped using powder at all for ages but I rediscovered this one and fell in love all over again. It’s one of those rare finely-milled powders that does not highlight dry patches and minimizes the appearance of imperfections and takes shine down slightly without leaving the skin ‘matte’ and devoid of radiance.

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Maybelline Face Studio Master Hi-light Hi-lighting Bronzer in Deep Bronze ($12-16 CDN)

I can honestly say that I wore this “bronzer” – I wear it as a blush – twenty days this month and this is not something regular for me. This was a big moment for me on the grounds that it’s the first drugstore blush that I’ve ever loved. The luminous rosy copper shade had the nicest texture and pigmentation without being overly dramatic and adds much-needed warmth to the face. I’m restraining myself from going on now because I’ve rambled on about this more than enough…

Civilization V Game ($30 CDN)

Yes, I’m talking about a computer game here. I’m not a huge gamer by any means and I’m selective but there are a few I really like and this month I was addicted to playing the strategy game. I find it challenging and for some reason its a thrill and the whole world domination concept starting from the ancient world to present day is always interesting. If you enjoy ancient things or history-based games, I recommend this one. It’s addicting and is flexible in the ways that it can be won (victory through culture, social policies, science, war etc.) — what more could you want?

What have you been loving this month?

Maggie, x.