Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

EMPTIES // 2015

Probably should add a bit of a disclaimer before starting off: these empties span from recently finished to used up over a year ago.  Oops!  I saved them and saved them but was too lazy to write an empties post.  I kept wanting to combine it with my "not actually empty, but I'm still getting rid of them because I don't like them" products post.  Probably should have realized I bit off a little more than I could chew with that one, haha.  Anyway, seeing actual empties is nice, because you know I loved each product and used up every drop!


I hardly ever go through makeup, so only two products and two samples made the cut this time.  Maybelline's Great Lash was my first mascara I ever purchased, and I've gone back to it again and again.  I find that it adds a nice natural tint to my lashes, without becoming clumpy in any way.  I have begun to experiment with other mascaras I've received as samples, but I remember enjoying this mascara when I did use it.

Stilla's Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in intense black was my first foray in to higher end eyeliners.  My friend gave me this initially because she never used it and I absolutely loved it.  I went and bought my own once this one had run out, but now I find that they dry up quite quickly.  I've now moved on to using a gel pot eyeliner (MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack applied with a 266 brush) which I prefer, as the application is more precise and sharp.  Along with that, the finish of MAC's eyeliner is matte, whereas Stilla's is glossy.  It all depends on what you prefer, but I like the vintage feel of a matte black cat eye.

I also really enjoyed a sample of Laura Mercier's Radiance Foundation Primer, so much so that I went out and got another sample of it from Sephora!  The subtle radiance is really nice, but I actually prefer to use it over whatever tinted moisturizer or foundation I'm using to impart a subtle brightening effect.  It's a little too subtle to use as a primer, I find, but I also absolutely love bright highlighters.  I'm probably not the target market!  Another sample I got was NARS Tinted Moisturizer, which I now own a full sized tube of.  I think that says it all!


For body, I ran through both my trusty Lubriderm Daily Moisture lotion and St. Ives Even & Bright scrub.  Lubriderm is the lotion my mom has used forever, so not only is it tried and tested, it's subtle scent (or lack of, really) is a trip home for me.  It's the lotion I always turn to when I get out of the shower if I'm not really in the mood for any scented moisturizers and I know it'll always do it's job.  The St. Ives scrub is one I got to initially use on my face, but I ended up using up the rest of it on my back.  TMI, but I get spots on my upper back sometimes.  They've gone away now that I've started washing my hair more (It's very dry due to dying and doesn't need an every day wash), but I felt like the exfoliating was doing any harm.  Now that I don't use it anymore and haven't seen a change, I can safely come to the conclusion that physical exfoliants don't do much for my skin.

You can really tell how long I've been accumulating these empties by the fact I have LUSH's The Sacred Truth fresh face mask.  They don't even sell this one!  A little disappointed, to be honest, since I did see a difference in my skin when I used this.  It was very mild and developed for dry and mature skin, but it was nice.  I actually haven't tried any of their fresh face masks since, but I probably should.  In counterpoint, I recently picked up a Sephora sheet mask in pearl, since my skin was going nuts and I didn't have any good masks.  It was a really nice, hydrating mask.  I didn't see a huge difference in my skin, but it did feel more hydrated, and the experience of applying it along with the resulting photos sent to my boyfriend was hilarious.

I also finished up my first tub of Clinique's Take The Day Off Balm last winter and moved on to my next one.  This cleanser is my HG cleanser and makeup remover.  I doubt I will ever try anything else!  I've never experienced this with any sort of product other than this one, and it is an amazing feeling!  I never feel the need to try any other sorts of balm cleansers, oil cleansers, or makeup removers the way I want to try new moisturizers, liquid/cream cleansers, makeup, etc.  Crazy!

Boots Botanics Facial Oil was my staple last winter when my skin started to get super dry.  I applied it with pure jojoba oil and felt like it really helped.  I have another bottle that I'm currently trying to finish before buying any other sort of nighttime moisturizer, but I won't repurchase.  I don't feel like it's doing much for my skin now, and want to move on to different things.  I'm also on my second tube of Weleda's Almond Soothing Facial Lotion, which I do like a lot.  I initially tried Weleda's Skin Food, which has a cult following and I also enjoyed it quite a bit.  I'm really interested in trying more of their products.  It has never made my skin burn and is a really light weight, non-irritating moisturizer for daytime.  I'm finding now that it's getting cooler and the heat is on full blast in my apartment that it hasn't been doing much for my dehydrated skin, however.  I definitely will repurchase for summer next year, unless I find something better before then!


Both of my used up hair products are related to dying my hair!  Shea Moisture's Deep Treatment Masque has been great for dying my hair pastel.  It's a really good, inexpensive mask for mixing the color with to create a less pigmented outcome.  It also makes my hair feel so much less damaged and I feel really does strengthen the hair shaft.  I always feel like I lose much less hair from both shedding and breakage after I use this mask.  I'm sure leaving it on for three hours the way I do helps, as well.  Along with that, the little tubes of Ion Color Brilliance's Sensitive Scalp Protector really work!  My scalp always burns like crazy when I use bleach, salon or at home.  I was astonished when I used this that it made that burning, itching sensation almost go away!  I use a bottle every time I dye my hair, but they're only 89 cents, so it is a crazy bargain for how much they help!

Hopefully now that I'm finally caught up on my empties, I'll do one of these posts a year.  I hardly get through any products, so now I can start fresh every year and maybe not forget what I thought about each product!

Monday, November 2, 2015


This past month I didn't have a lot of chances to apply makeup, but when I did I really did enjoy it.  I'm instituting a No-Buy (we'll see how that goes) until at least 2016, if not the end of January, on non-essential beauty products like makeup.  Skincare is also out of the question except I'm almost out of my moisturizer, which I'm going to want to replace (Probably with Kiehl's Skin Rescuer, but we shall see).  There were just a few products I loved in October, but they're all really lovely!

I've had Anastasia's Dip Brow Pomade in Ash Brown for months now, but I've been really enjoying doing a bold brow now that the weather has gotten much colder.  It's such a great way to add some definition to my face, and it also goes perfectly with a bold lip!  Speaking of a bold lip, I've been loving my custom Bite Beauty lipstick that I made at their lip lab a couple of months ago.  It's a nice blue toned matte red, and I discovered how much I like it when it's gently patted on to my lips for a bit of undefined color.  My lips are the bane of my lipstick-wearing existence: Every lipstick feathers on me with few exceptions.  I always have to go for a matte lip, so good thing I love them!  See: my HG lipstick Ruby Woo.  Bite's matte offering, however, is still too creamy for me and it ends up feathering after only about an hour or two. The patting method works much better than a defined lip line for this one!

On recommendation from an XOVainer, I picked up a small bottle of Sephora's Brush Cleanser, which has been a lifesaver.  The little brush I used to apply my eyebrow pomade (part of a 5 brush kit from Forever 21) wasn't doing so well at picking up and evenly applying product any more, but a spritz of the brush cleanser and a good wipe on a tissue cleared that issue right up!  I now use it every day on both that brush and my gel eyeliner brush to keep germs at bay as well as keep my application tip top!

Last time I was at LUSH, I also picked up a sample of their Feeling Younger Skin Tint, because I have been absolutely in love with highlighters, and this one is no exception.  I tried it a couple of times, mostly around my under eye area and brow bone, and it makes me feel like Galadriel.  The shimmer is a mix of an almost holographic purple and blue, but it looks more like an oil slick on water highlight rather than a glitter ball, if that makes any sense?  It really perks up my face and makes me feel super fancy, so I'll definitely be getting a full size eventually!  I also got the NARS Multiple in Copacabana, and I apply it whenever possible.  It's such a beautiful highlight, and it is so easy to apply.  I just swipe the stick on my cheekbones, over my eyelids, and dot it above my brow bone and on my cupids bow, then blend with my fingertips.  BAM!

What were your favorites this month?