Empties: Winter 2015

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As you can see, I have a lot of empties to share today. I’ve basically been saving all this past winter (so maybe this should be fall 2014? Anyways..), and a lot of things ran out at the same time this past week. So, I decided to share them with you! I have some good reviews, and some not so good reviews. But, perhaps that’s how it always goes. 🙂

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1. Plackers GentleSlide Floss Sticks -I love floss sticks. It makes flossing a much more pleasant process, and I don’t have to worry about my fingers’ circulation getting cut off. I decide to try the Gentle Slide kind, to see how it was. It’s pretty good, I guess, but I didn’t see a huge difference. So, I’ll probably buy the original version of Plackers like normally do.

2. Loreal True Match Liquid Foundation – I have worn Loreal for most of my foundation-wearing life. It’s a nice consistency -not too thick, or thin or patchy -and it comes in a lot of shades. This shade is N2, which I have loved. I’ve decided to switch to W2, a warmer tone, so I’ll let you know how it goes. So, do I like this foundation? Yes. I am sure that I will continue to buy it in the future.

3. Mary Kay Time Wise Set (Cleanser, Moisturizer, Sunscreen, Serum) -I have had a love-hate relationship with Mary Kay, and I’m finally breaking up with this company. I used these products every day (no, really, I mean it), and I was… okay with the results. My skin wasn’t breaking out into an allergic rash at least, but it wasn’t doing anything to help with fine lines, and it didn’t even help keep my skin from flaking. And at $90 full price (or $45 if you get it off ebay), it’s really just not worth it. I guess I’m at a point in my life where I realize that bottles claiming to have magical powers to turn back time… are generally liars. And, I have more important things to spend my money on than something I’m going to wash down the drain. Like rocks, for instance. 🙂 I’ll be going with a much more affordable skin care option next… I might even try a diy.

4. VitaFusion Calcium Gummies -I got these gummies at Sam’s Club, when I realized that I hadn’t been getting near enough calcium (I was basically eating a lactose-free diet, for Ben’s sake). These gummies are fun and tasty, although they sure have a lot of sugar (6 grams for two gummies!) I do like them, though. I definitely liked the price too -200 gummies for $11.

5. Homemade Exfoliator and Clay Mask -These were fun little spa treats that I received for Christmas, from my little sister-in-law, Naomi. They were fun to play with -I especially liked the clay mask. And, the exfoliator smelled like strawberries. 🙂 I think creating at home beauty products is a lot of fun, and a great creative process.

6. Kennet MD Massage Bar -This was a very gentle bar of soap, and was fun to use. It didn’t have much of a scent, but I liked that it was nice to my sensitive skin, and didn’t cause any drying. This sample soap was fun to try, although I’m not sure where you would even buy this soap.

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7. Victoria’s Secret Mango Temptation Body Butter -This body butter had a great scent, and was lots of fun to apply. I have determined that I like body butters much better than I do lotions, so I’ll have to keep that in mind in the future. Did I think this was worth purchasing at full price? Eh, probably not. I guess I’m cheap. I think I’ll check the body butters out in my local Wal-Mart. That said, the scent was lots of fun.:)

8. Ban Solid Deodorant -This deodorant is one that I grew up with (albeit in roll-on form). My mom swears by it’s ability to keep you from being smelly no matter what. I’m not as much of a fan of the solid kind, although I do like the roll-on. I think next time, I’ll switch back to roll-on -it just works better. For now, I’m using some Dove deodorant.

9. Oshadhi Grapefruit Essential Oil -I became obsessed with essential oils during 11th grade, and this was the first bottle of essential oil that I ever bought. It’s also the first essential oil that I finished. The fun thing about essential oils is that they do seem to last a long time. I read somewhere that most last about 10 years. I mainly use essential oils for aromatherapy (in an essential oil diffuser), and for keeping the toilet smelling fresh. Will I buy this brand again? Probably not, mainly because I don’t even know where I would buy it. It was nice, though. I do love the smell of grapefruit. 🙂 I think when I buy essential oils again, I’ll buy from Mountain Rose Herbs, as they have some that are certified organic and Fair Trade, and I can buy them online.

10. N°4 Lumiere d’hiver Reconstructive Masque -This was a sample hair masque -it’s a kind of deep conditioning treatment. I liked it a lot. It smelled nice, and did it’s job without leaving lots of build-up. I really love samples, because I can try of a lot products without making time and money commitments to them. I might try something from N°4 in the future.

11. Beauty Protector Hair Masque -This masque smelled like strawberries, and was interesting to use. It had the consistency of yogurt, until it seemed to melt into my hair. 🙂 That said, it was a bit heavy for my hair type, and left some build-up. But, because it was a sample, I got to try it out. And trying out new things is always fun. 🙂

12. Elf Mist & Set -This is a makeup finisher. You spray it on your face after putting on makeup, and it’s supposed to keep the make-up on longer. I wasn’t a big fan of it, because it didn’t extend my makeup wear time by much, and it was sticky from the aloe vera in it. But, for $3, it wasn’t a bad purchase. This might work better on someone who has more oily skin, maybe?

13. Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Mascara -I loved this mascara so much. It washes up with just water, and is super gentle to my skin. It can smudge easily in humid climates, but in dry climates it works great. I only wish it came in a black brown, as the color is a bit harsh for me. I might try something else by Physician’s Formula in a black/brown formula.

14. N°4 Lumiere d’hiver Clarifying Shampoo -This sample lasted a while, and it was a lot of fun. It was more concentrated, because it has a low lather, but that meant that it lasted longer. I did like how it worked for my hair -it stripped buildup with out leaving my hair super dry.

15. Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Black Eyeliner -This came in the nude eyerliner trio, and I did like it a lot. I didn’t use the black much, but the pencil kind of kept breaking (it got super soft in the Houston heat). I used this black eyeliner on the corner of my upper eyelids, and had fun with it. I really like the copper color from this trio, but it’s not used up yet. I will definitely buy this product again.

16. Amika Nourishing Mask -This was my favorite of the three hair masques that I tried. It smelled nice, and is free of parabens, and artificial dyes. It had a nice consistency, and had a good balance of conditioning without build-up. It’s kind of expensive, though, so I probably won’t buy it in the future. It was a nice sample though!

Phew! Sixteen different empties! I’m not sure if I’ll keep up with the empties posts, as I’m not sure if people actually read my reviews. It is nice though, to show what I actually finished, as opposed to big hauls. 🙂

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Summer Empties -Part 2

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I didn’t think I would use up more products before the end of summer, but I thought wrong! There’s just something awesome about using up a product, and know I got my full money’s worth. 🙂 Now, that I’m about to head onto the road, I don’t want to keep these empty containers around. So, here’s my latest empties post!

1.   L’Oreal RevitaLift Intensive Overnight Mask Sample –This sample was included in my September 2014 edition of InStyle Magazine. I decided to try it out and see how I liked it. It spread evenly, and soaked into my skin well, which I did like. This fragrance was nice, although a bit strong. In the four days that I used it on my face at night, I did see a difference. My skin was softer, and a little firmer. I wouldn’t say that I had amazing results, but it didn’t break my skin out into a rash, which is a big plus. Would I buy this? Probably not, as it costs $20 at Walmart for a 1.7 ounce container. That’s a bit too expensive for my price range, and not quite worth it.

2.   Aussie Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner –This stuff has really helped protect my hair after highlighting it. I wouldn’t say  this stuff is a miracle worker as they claim on the back –in fact, I’d say it’s a standard leave-in conditioner. If you’ve tried the Suave for Kids detangling conditioner, it works just like that, but with a more grown-up fragrance. That said, it did what it was supposed, and at $3, it’s not a bad deal. I probably will try a different hair product in the future, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I came back to Hair Insurance at a later date.

3.   Coconut Oil –For most of the summer, I used unrefined coconut oil as my night-time moisturizer. It did keep my skin super soft, though I had mixed feelings about this stuff. On the internet, people rave about coconut oil, as if it is the Holy Grail of skincare. As for me, I just didn’t have those results. I found that it was super greasy, and didn’t really want to soak onto my skin. It just sat on top for the most part, which was annoying. I also found that it did nothing to help the fine lines on forehead, when the most basic of moisturizers tend to help a little. And, I started to develop a breakout from it, which was disappointing. That said, I was probably using too much, and I probably have some sort of skin allergy to coconut oil. It didn’t work for me, but I’m sure it works great for others.

4.   Sally Hansen Wax Strip Kit –This is the first time that I tried wax strips. Before, I’ve used the wax that you spread onto your face and wait for it to harden. A lot of people told me that these don’t work, but they worked great for me! In fact, I had to be a little gentler than normal, to make sure that I wasn’t ripping skin along with the hair! It was nice to not use as much brute force in wax. They were easy to use –just rub between hands, apply, and rip. They were also a lot easier to dispose of. Will I repurchase? Yes, most definitely.

5.   Clinique Super Balanced Makeup –This foundation was just awesome, and I was so sad when it finally ran out. It was the perfect color (Petal), and I loved it. Granted, I liked the texture and consistency a lot better in Idaho, where it’s dryer, than here in Texas. For some reason, my products become thicker in humid weather. Why that is, I don’t know. That said, it still is amazing, even here in Houston. Sadly, it’s just not in my budget right now, so I purchased the equivalent color in the L’Oreal True Match (N2). Will I repurchase? Maybe later down the road when I have more money. Do I recommend this foundation? Yes, absolutely.

6.   Bath and Body Works Fragrance Mist in Cashmere Glow –This is the second of 3 mini perfume bottles that I have used up. I still love the smell –it’s warm and cuddly. It does work better for the fall and winter months, but if I don’t spray it too heavily, it works during the rest of the year too. I love these mini bottles, and I don’t think I’ll purchase a full-size bottle from BBW ever again. I just love trying out new fragrances way too much! It is a lovely scent, though, and if I were more of a one perfume kind of gal, I would repurchase.

7.   Stridex Maximum Strength Pads –These were my husband’s, but I slowly took over using them. 🙂 They are a typical salicylic acid acne product, and they seem to work well. I didn’t experience any skin care wonders with Stridex, but they got the job done. Would I repurchase? Probably not. They’re $10 a package, which is a bit much for me. Ben did get them from his mom’s stash of bath, body, and skincare products, so it technically was free.

Empties: Summer 2014

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This summer, I have 11 empty products to blog about! I’m pretty excited -this is my biggest empty post ever! I have products from drug store to luxury brand here, and I’m excited to tell you all about them!

1. Matrix Total Result Color Care Shampoo/Conditioner (conditioner not shown) -I used this shampoo set for a year and loved it. It’s very gentle on color treated hair, and left my hair soft and detangled. While I’ve switched to a different shampoo line, I still love this one and recommend it to anyone who just had their hair colored or chemically treated.

2. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen in SPF 30 -This sunscreen smells really good, and is really hydrating. It’s a treat to put on during the summer. That being said, I hated putting it my face. My face would sting, and get a little red with irritation (though the damage wasn’t too severe). I’ve since switched to a gentler sunscreen by Coppertone.

3. Onsen Pure A Skin Renewal Peel -Okay, so I’ve had this product for… several years, which is kind of gross. But, it kept working until the very last drop! I got this product at one of those Dead Sea Mineral Product kiosks at the mall -you know, with the annoying, pushing salespeople. This stuff was expensive, but it exfoliated my skin like no other. I could see the dead skin literally sloughing off, and my skin looked so much better afterwards. While this product isn’t really in my price range these days, I do still love and admire it.

4. Naturelle Bioterra Thermal Protectant Styling Spray -This was a heat sealant that I bought at Sally Beauty Supply. It was a good decent heat spray, but I had to be careful not too spray too much, or it would ruin the entire styling process. It’s not as good as salon products, but it’s better than drugstore heat sealants. So, I would say that you get your money’s worth for the product.

5. Paul Mitchell Lemon Sage Energizing Body Lotion -Before this product was given to me by my friend Emily Ray, I had no clue that Paul Mitchell made lotion! It was a fun lotion, with an eclectic, but fun and upbeat smell. The lotion was pretty good at moisturizing, which was nice. I had to be careful to dry my legs completely before using, so it didn’t sting (but my legs are ultra sensitive, so that’s probably just me and my weirdness). The scent isn’t too girly, and in fact, it almost seems like a unisex scent. I thought the lotion was lots of fun to use, especially in the mornings.

6. Skintimate Vitamin E Shaving Gel -I love the unscented, vitamin E, and sensitive skin versions of Skintimate shaving gel. They are super gentle on my easily irritated legs. That being said, I’ve switched back to Hydro Silk razors, which come with a built in shaving gel.

7. Bath and Body Works Cashmere Glow Shower Gel -This was part of a fun set that Ben got me for Christmas two years ago. The scent smells like vanilla and musk, and a little hint of peaches. While it wasn’t the most phenomenal shower gel I’ve ever used, it did smell really yummy.

8. Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover -I love this eyemakeup remover. It’s the best I’ve ever used, and the only one that doesn’t make my eyes tear up or swell after using. It does a good job of removing most mascaras.

9. E.l.f. Mineral Eyeliner in Coffee -This eyeliner was simple, and easy to use. It didn’t stay in place as well as more expensive eyeliners that I have used, but its staying performance wasn’t too shabby. If you’re looking for a comfortable, cheap, and easy to use eyeliner, you’ll probably like this one.

10. Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal Mascara in (Waterproof) Black – It took me a while to figure out how to use this curved mascara wand, but once I did, it was amazing! My eyelashes looked full and dramatic all day, and didn’t smudge in the least even after a couple hours in the pool, or a long bike ride in the humid Texas heat. This mascara was difficult to remove, however, and did leave my lashes feeling stiff and crunchy. That said, it’s a cheap mascara packed with lots of drama!

11. Almay Oil-Free Makeup Eraser Sticks -These little pre-filled q-tips were a wonder! I made touching up makeup mistakes a breeze. While I wouldn’t recommend this product for full eye makeup removal, especially mascara, it’s great for touching up on the go!

Empties: Cashmere Glow And Skintimate

I like to review products that I’ve actually finished. I feel like I can give a much more well-rounded review -and one that holds more meaning than when I first open it. This week, I actually have three to review:

  1. Bath and Body Works’ Cashmere Glow Body Spray
  2. Skintimate Skin Therapy Shave Gel , for Sensitive Skin
  3. Bic Silky Touch Disposable Razors

Let’s start with the first!

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I received the Cashmere Glow body spray as a Christmas present from Ben in 2012, and I have really enjoyed wearing it. It’s a warm vanilla, cashmere and peaches spray, which is a lot of fun to wear in the autumn and winter. I found myself wearing it less during the summer, as it is a bit warm, and well, a bit strong for the summer air. If you wear it lightly as it’s intended, it wears off pretty quick. But if you spray it closer to your body, more like perfume, it will last a really long time. Just about every time I wore this body spray, people told me I smelled really good. I still have another mini bottle or two of this stuff, but as I finished the first bottle, I figured that I share my thoughts. I think I’d give it a 4.5 out 5. That being said, I doubt I’ll stick to it forever. I’, just not a one scent kind of woman -I like change and variety too much. That, and there’s always some new scent that catches my eye. 🙂

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My next two reviews come from my shower. 🙂

I’ll start with the shave gel. This Skintimate shave gel was wonderful to work with. My skin is so sensitive, and I find my skin reacting to just about everything. But not this shaving cream! My skin doesn’t feel itchy when I apply it, it lathers smoothly, and I have much happier legs when I use it. I have tried other Skintimate shave gels with scents, and my legs still break out. This is the only shaving cream I have foundthat actually works for me. I actually find myself looking forward to shaving my legs, instead of dreading it. 🙂 I’d definitely give the Skin Therapy Shave Gel for Sensitive Skin a 5 out of 5. I don’t plan on using anything else!

That leaves the Bic Silky Touch Disposable Razor. I did like using it -it worked great, and kept my legs nice and smooth -as long as I used it as intended. The thing about disposable razors is that -they’re disposable. Obvious, I know, but so tempting to forget. If I threw away the razor after every use, or at least every other use, I was okay. But using the same razor any more than that left me with nicks and red bumps all over. The nice thing is that I got all of my disposable razors for free using coupons (it’s $3 a pack normally). But… I can see how it could get expensive, if you’re throwing them away every day. I finished three 7 packs, and still have some other packs left. For now, I’m pretty happy for them. In the category of disposable razors, I’d give Bic Silky Touch a 4.5 out of 5. For razors overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5. When it comes to nice smooth legs, I think “normal” or longer-use razors work better, and are more economical in the long run.

And that’s it for this installment of “Into The Trash!”