May/June Empties, Part 2: Makeup, Hair Care & Body Care

In Part 2 of my May/June empties, we have makeup, hair care, and body care (and a couple of miscellaneous items). If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.

Let’s start with body care, hair care and the extra bits, then finish with makeup:

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Shower Items:

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L’Occitane almond shower oil – This won’t be empty for long; I have a refill bag 🙂 Needless to say, I love it. It smells delicious and feels so luxurious on. I usually use like a body wash, but I know people who shave with it. Value = $25

Tata Harper revitalizing body oil – This has a nice “green” Tata scent and it did feel moisturizing, but it wasn’t anything special to justify Tata prices. Value = $13.41

L’Occitane citrus verbena shower gel – Lovely smell and it got the job done. This is pretty affordable (by L’Occitane standards) so I would consider repurchasing. Value = $2.38

Hempz coconut and watermelon body scrub – LOVE the scent and texture of this. It smells like watermelon (I don’t really smell coconut) and has larger sugar granules that are scrubby but not abrasive. The packaging is kind of clunky and unnecessarily large. It also wasn’t nearly filled so when I first opened it, I was disappointed. I wouldn’t pay full price for it, but I just ordered a second jar on a good promo at Ulta. Value = $19.99

Pacifica coconut milk shave whip – This was second tube of Pacifica shave whip, but it’s apparently been discontinued so I won’t go on about it. I did like it, but I’ll have to find something to replace it with. Value = $8

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If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I always go through hand creams and body lotions. This month was no exception!

Good Things manuka honey body butter – I loved this. It was very much like The Body Shop body butters in the same type of packaging. It smells like the manuka honey cream cleanser from this brand, which I also love. If I ever see another one at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s, I will repurchase. Value = $5

L’Occitane hand cream in almond and lavender scents – It’s no secret I love L’Occitane hand creams. Almond is one of my favorite scents. I like the lavender, but it isn’t one of my favorites. I have loads more of these little guys. Total value = $16.15

Josie Maran whipped argan oil in vanilla pear – The texture of the Josie Maran whipped argan oils isn’t my favorite; I find it kind of greasy. But, this vanilla pear scent was delicious. It doesn’t appear to be regularly available, though. I got this little one in a duo set over Christmas that I don’t see on Sephora’s website anymore. Value = $8.75

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Just a couple of hair care things:

Pacifica coconut super power deep conditioning mask – This was really nice. My hair isn’t “damaged” but I found this really nourishing and not too heavy. Smells delicious. Value = $16

Bumble & Bumble don’t blow it styling creme – I think I only got one use out of this sample so it’s hard to give it a solid review, but I didn’t find it did much when I let my hair air dry. Value = $3.10

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Finished up a few sunscreens!

Beautycounter SPF 30 – I really enjoy this one. Our second tube will be in my July empties, in fact. It has a thicker texture, but spreads and absorbs pretty well. But it’s pretty pricey so I’m not sure if/when I would repurchase. They reformulated after I purchased, as well, so the current sunscreen may be a little different. Value = $26

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 melt in sunscreen milk – I reviewed and other La Roche-Posay sunscreens in this post so I won’t repeat myself. We liked it. I would repurchase. Value = $35.99

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 ultra light sunscreen – Interestingly, this had a different texture than the full sized bottle I have. This was a traditional-feeling sunscreen and was in a squeeze tube, whereas the full sized bottle I have you have to shake and it squirts out and it has a gritty texture. I’m starting to think the full sized one I have was just a bad batch. Value = $1.80

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Lastly, a few random things:

Schmidt’s geranium flower sensitive skin deodorant – I need the sensitive skin (baking soda free) formula in Schmidt’s deodorants. My first one was the Bergamot Lime from their regular line and it would give me a rash if I had recently shaved my underarms. I switched to the sensitive skin version and haven’t had any irritation issues. This smells nice, and the tube lasted a reasonably long time. I’ve subsequently repurchased in a different scent just to try something new. Value = $10.99

It Brushes for Ulta brush bath makeup brush cleaner – I hated this. It smells strongly of the lavender and citrus oils in it. It wasn’t the most effective at cleaning my brushes. I didn’t love that it’s in a spray, and it’s awfully expensive for the amount of product you get. It did dry quickly, but I must prefer the MAC brush cleaner. Value = $18

Huntington Homes soy candle in spring leaves – These were like $4 at Aldi earlier this year. They burn evenly (if you find one with 3 evenly-spaced wicks) and this smelled very fresh. I actually have a second in this scent. Aldi candles are a hidden gem! Value = $4

Now onto makeup! (Sorry, I know this post is getting long, but splitting into 3 posts seemed excessive!)

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Bobbi Brown bronzer in Golden Light – I think this was my first bronzer. It’s really nice, but it had gotten pretty old (3-4 years). I was going to hit pan any day, and actually it broke apart after I photographed when I swirled my finger in it to get the swatch photo below. So it was just time to let it go. I’m not sure if I would repurchase because I always like trying new things, but I’ve recommended it to others. Value = $44

Hourglass ambient lighting palette – As you can see, I didn’t finish the third shade in the palette but I think it’s just too dark for me, even using it where I would apply bronzer. I love dim light (left most shade) and I have it in my Hourglass ambient lighting edit volume 3. I liked the middle shade, but not enough to seek it out again. I like the larger pans in this one versus the edit (which has 6 smaller pans). Some day I think I would build my own 3-pan palette on Hourglass’ website with a bronzer, blush, and dim light. Value = $62

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Fiona Stiles peach corrector – This is another one that just got old. It didn’t smell weird, but it’s over 2 years old and in a cream product, that seemed kind of gross to put under my eyes. It worked pretty well but I don’t need it most days so it was just sitting around. I don’t think you can find Fiona Stiles’ line anymore anyway. Value = $24

Burberry eye colour contour smoke and sculpt pen in Rosewood – This is Burberry’s cream shadow stick, which has a long and strange name. Rosewood is a popular shade in their wet/dry shadow, but I never hear anyone talk about the cream shadows. This was great and I would repurchase it. It didn’t crease, and had a beautiful sheen that was interesting but daytime appropriate. My only complaint is that the product fell out of the packaging. My first one that happened immediately so I replaced it. It happened with the second one eventually too and I was stuck with it. There was about an inch of product left, actually, but it fell out onto the bathroom floor and I didn’t think I could adequately clean it (not to mention be able to use it) so, alas, it’s in the trash. Value = $29.50

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(L to R: Bite Beauty lush lip tint in Watermelon; Burberry shadow stick in Rosewood; Bobbi Brown bronzer in Golden Light)

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Bite Beauty lush lip tint in Watermelon – It kills me that this were discontinued. They’re so good! I have a backup of this that I found at Marshall’s. If you ever see these at TJ Maxx or Marhsall’s, snap them up! (Juice is my favorite shade.) Value = $24

Lush rose lollipop lip balm – I have hit major pan on this, but I don’t like it so I decided enough is enough. It has sort of a gritty texture. No matter what I do, I get too much and have to wipe some off of my lips and finger. It doesn’t smell bad, but it doesn’t really smell like rose, either. And I prefer lip balms that aren’t in pots (although the Fresh ones are an exception to this rule). Clearly, I wouldn’t repurchase. Value = $10.95

Julep strawberry mint lip balm – This smells delicious but it is SO old, like probably 6 or 7 years old. I just can’t. haha. Value = $3

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Three mascaras for you, then we’re done!

Maybelline total temptation – This was a totally fine mascara – decent volume and length, no smudging, etc. But my expectations were high because people were RAVING about it when it was released. It’s a drier formula but I still got 3 months use out of it, which is pretty typical for me with mascaras. If you like a more natural look, you would probably like this, but I prefer more volume. Value = $9.49

I had to say goodbye to two mascaras prematurely this month because my eyelid got infected and I think one of my mascaras somehow got bacteria in it 😦

YSL the shock mascara – This is one of my absolute favorites. I always snap up the sample sizes when I can. (I have at least 2 more.) I had only been using this a couple of weeks so it killed me to toss it, but my health is obviously more important. This gives me mega volume but it’s damn near bullet proof. My eyelids are oily so smudging is a real problem for me, and this doesn’t smudge at all. The flip side is that it can be difficult to remove. I don’t usually do a separate eye makeup remover, but sometimes I do when I’m wearing this just to avoid any tugging. Value = $7.07

Tarte tarteist lash paint mascara – I’ve heard good things about this but I was really underwhelmed. It gave good length but no volume. It did smudge a little. It has kind of a spiky plastic wand that wasn’t the most comfortable. A fail for me. Value = $6.48

Total value = $435.05

Total May/June empties value = $641.36

If you made to the end of this post, I’m seriously impressed. As always, thank you so much for reading! 🙂

May/June Empties, Part 1: Skincare

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I know we’re a week into July, but here are my May and June empties! I took a vote on Instagram and most people preferred that I break this into two posts since it was so many products. I’ll do skincare today and Part 2 with makeup, body care, etc. next week. Let’s go in the order in which I would apply:

Cleansers

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Caudalie micellar water – I don’t care much for micellar waters, but they do come in handy with air travel. We went to Italy at the beginning of June and, although I didn’t need to remove makeup on our overnight flight, I was happy to have the micellar water to cleanse my skin at the end of the flight. As far as I can tell, this is a good micellar water and I actually have another sample of it, but I don’t use them enough to want to buy the full size. Value = $4.20

Philosophy purity cleanser – This was nice for travel, too, because it effectively removes makeup and cleans skin without stripping. However, this stung my eyes a little and I didn’t find it to be anything enjoyable to use. The mini also leaked a bit toward the end. Value = $3

Farmacy green clean – This is such a good makeup remover. It smells and looks like lime sherbet, destroys makeup without stinging your eyes, has a clever notched inner lid with spatula, and is reasonably priced. It would be a no brainer repurchase except that it has micro-plastic in it (polyethylene). It doesn’t have micro-beads in it, but since those are also made of polyethylene I’m having a hard time researching the environmental impact of polyethylene in general. Regardless, it seems like quite a stretch to call this “green” since Farmacy markets themselves as a green beauty brand. Value = $34

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Fresh soy face cleanser – I’m always happy to get samples of this cleanser. It has a light cucumber scent that I find very refreshing. It’s a gel texture that lathers with water. It doesn’t strip and removes makeup pretty well. It didn’t sting my eyes but it wasn’t exactly gentle on the eyes. I have another small size. I seem to always have this one with me when I travel. Value = $5

Masks

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Tata Harper clarifying mask – I really enjoyed this. It had a somewhat watery texture with some small granules of exfoliation. It had a pleasant “green” smell as Tata products always do. I would be happy to get another sample but I won’t run out and purchase when there are other less expensive clarifying masks I like…. Value = $17

Such as The Body Shop Himalayan charcoal purifying glow mask – I LOVE this one. I actually have a new one; it’s the only mask I’ve ever re-purchased. It has a slight cool/tingly sensation that I enjoy. It’s a very effective purifying mask for me. The only slight con is it has some larger chunks in it so it’s kind of messy to use. Value = $28

Pacifica vital immersion deep hydration mask – I got this in some friend mail and used it once and wasn’t impressed. I have plenty of other things that I like so I’m not going to hold on to samples that don’t impress me. I think this has been discontinued. Value = $2

Hydration

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The Pixi vitamin wakeup mist was in the same friend mail from Lara (@myfairskincare) 🙂 I loved the orangey scent, but the mister was lousy. It sort of spit at you. It also left a bit of a film. Definitely not a re-purchase. Value = $15

Kypris antioxidant dew – This claims to “quench & glow.” I found it to be more effective at giving glow than in deeply hydrating. It felt nice on, don’t get me wrong, but I had high expectations because people rave about this stuff. It’s quite pricy though so I would much rather stick with my Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate serum, or even the First Aid Beauty hydrating serum. I also hated the packaging. The design is beautiful, but the dropper is not the right design for this product. There was always product stuck on the outside of the dropper that I would have to wipe off or else it would drip on the top when I tried to screw the lid back on. I can’t waste product that’s this expensive, and it isn’t exactly sanitary to touch the dropper. The other problem was that about halfway through the bottle, it stopped screwing on properly. I would twist it tight and it would sort of twist back part way so it wouldn’t be totally closed. Definitely not travel friendly (and also because it’s glass). So the product is nice, but the price and packaging flaws will keep me from repurchasing. Value = $72

Neogen micro-essence – I haven’t really gotten into essences and this was a small sample so I can’t say much about it… Value = $7.50

Moisturizers

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Drunk Elephant B-Hydra – A great, lightweight gel moisturizer for summer. If you have oily and/or dehydrated skin, give this a try. The full sized packaging with the air-tight pump is fantastic. I’ve gone through a full size before and I would re-purchase. If you are dehydrated but have drier skins, you can always mix it with an oil or a thicker cream for a hydration boost. Value = $8.32

Clinique moisture surge overnight mask – I just used this as a moisturizer and I loved it.  My mom has an extremely simple skincare routine (mostly Clinique) and she gave me a sample of this because she had gotten a sample and been impressed. She was right! My skin always looked plump and well-balanced in the mornings. I bought the full size. Value = $10.29

Total value for part 1: $206.31!

Stay tuned for part 2!

 

 

Review: 3 Hair Blow-Out Styling Creams from Living Proof, Briogeo, and Alterna

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I’m pretty low-maintenance when it comes to hair products. I have long, thick, naturally wavy, not color-treated hair that I wash every 4 days or so. I blow dry it straight and, if necessary, touch up with a straightener. In the following days I use a straightener and/or dry shampoo as needed. Here is my hair immediately post-shower without product:

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I want my hair products to smooth my hair, provide heat protection, and help straighten the wave, which is particularly stubborn in the back. I just re-purchased the Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer for heat protection, but I was in the market for a styling product to tame the frizz and help straighten. I had three minis in my stash that I’ve been testing extensively against each other – Briogeo Rosarco Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protection Creme, Alterna Caviar Anti-Frizz Blowout Butter, and Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream. Keep reading to find out which product I purchased the full size of!

I kept the rest of my haircare routine the same to avoid confusing my experiment 🙂 I’ve been using the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day shampoo, a Pacifica deep conditioning mask that’s been discontinued and then towel drying with my Aquis hair towel. Then I applied 10-12 spritzes of the Briogeo Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner and 2 pumps of the Ouai Rose Hair and Body Oil. I then used about a quarter-sized dollop of the styling product being tested and blowed dry with my old blow dryer.

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I had high hopes for the Briogeo styling creme because I have had generally good experiences with the brand. The creme was not bad by any means, and I did find it helped straighten my hair, but it was still a bit frizzy after blow drying:

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The description of the Alterna blowout butter sounded perfect for me as I have thick hair I was hoping to de-frizz. Alas, this did not de-frizz or straighten:

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Lastly, the Living Proof, which did de-frizz and helped straighten:

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To me, it was pretty clear which product was the winner:

(I cut 3 inches off my hair after these photos were taken, but I had the same results.)

I would have purchased whichever product performed the best, but it’s an added bonus that Living Proof is available at a variety of retailers and, therefore, more likely to find a good promo to purchase. I picked up the full sized Living Proof no frizz nourishing styling cream during a hair products points multiplier at Ulta and couldn’t be happier!

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Review: Four La Roche-Posay Sunscreens

I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect facial sunscreen for quite a while. I prefer a mineral sunscreen over a chemical one, but I will use whichever as long as it feels nice on the skin and works well under makeup. I had heard good things about La Roche-Posay’s sunscreen offerings so I have four to share with you today. I purchased mine at  Ulta, but Target is also carrying some LRP items now, or you can orderly directly from the brand.

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Two of these sunscreens are mineral and two are chemical. Three are clearly intended as facial sunscreens and are only 1.7 ounces. The fourth is intended for face and body and is larger at 5.0 ounces.

First up, Anthelios 50 mineral in tinted and untinted versions, both of which retail for $33.50 (although Ulta is currently doing a B1G1 half off promo and coupons do work on LRP).

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The active ingredient is 11% Titanium dioxide on the tinted version and 6% Titanium dioxide and 5% Zinc oxide on the untinted version.

Directions state to shake these before use and with the untinted version in particular, I find that to be necessary. This is actually my second tube of the untinted mineral Anthelios 50. The first one I finished and liked enough to re-purchase (and then I decided to explore more options and ended up with these 3 others!). It left more of a matte finish so it was nice during the summer when I was feeling a little more oily. I remember it having a bit of a rough texture that took some getting used to, but I did acclimate to it. However, this tube is so rough that it’s basically un-useable. I feel like I’m getting rough exfoliation every time I try to apply. I’m not sure why this one feels so much harsher than the first one I used, but I don’t think I’ll be buying a third to see if its a fluke.

I don’t have a lot of experience with tinted sunscreens, but I do like this one. I find myself reaching for it when I’m not going to be wearing makeup to add just a hint of color and bring some life to my face. Unlike the untinted version, the tinted version has a smooth texture with no roughness at all. I would definitely repurchase this one.

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There’s certainly no such thing as a universal tint, but I think light to medium skin tones could use the tinted version.

Next up is the Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk. This one originally caught my attention because Consumer Reports rated it very highly. It retails for $35.99. Ours will be in my next empties post.

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Active ingredients are 3% Avobenzone, 10.72% Homosalate, 3.21% Octisalate, 6% Octocrylene, and 3.86% Oxybenzone.

This one is intended for face and body. Both my husband and I used it on our faces and body while on vacation and we both enjoyed it. I think this one feels the most like a “traditional” sunscreen that I grew up using. It leaves a slightly oily sensation behind so I wouldn’t recommend for your face if you have oily skin. It would probably be ok on your body, though. It wasn’t my favorite choice for my face, but I liked it enough to use it on my face too sometimes to simplify things.

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You can see that this one is less liquidy than the Anthelios 50 mineral options, but it wasn’t thick by any means. I didn’t rub it in completely because then you wouldn’t have been able to see it. 😉

Lastly, we have the Anthelios 60 Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen, which is oil-free and retails for $19.99.

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Active ingredients are 3% Avobenzone, 15% Homosalate, 5% Octisalate, and 7% Octocrylene.

I’m enjoying this one most of all as a facial sunscreen under makeup. If you have oily skin or fear that sunscreen will leave you congested, give this one a try! It comes out of the tube as thicker than the others, but it glides on the skin and absorbs easily, leaving a fairly matte finish.

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All of these have expiration dates, which I greatly appreciate! They all also have excellent reviews on the sites I checked so I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them, except the possible textural issue with the mineral Anthelios 50 untinted. I have not noticed any pilling with makeup after any of these. I didn’t have issues with a white cast on any of the untinted sunscreens, but in fairness, my skin is pretty fair so that’s not generally a problem for me.

 

Have you tried any La Roche-Posay sunscreens? These aren’t all of them! I recently got a flyer from Ulta showing eight sunscreens in the Anthelios range. Are there others I should try? What’s your favorite facial sunscreen?

Beauty Products I’ve Repurchased

This much-requested post is finally here! I apologize for the delay; I just couldn’t get it done before our trip to Italy last week. Since I try new things all the time, I wouldn’t have guessed that I repurchase that many products, but when I started making a list of repurchased beauty products I realized it was quite a lot! The first photo doesn’t even contain them all!

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Skincare

There are three cleansers I’ve repurchased: The Body Shop camomile cleansing butter, which is super affordable and destroys makeup and doesn’t contain microplastic; The Good Things manuka honey cream cleanser, which I’ve raved about before. It’s also super affordable but, sadly, hard to get in the US unless you run across it at TJ Maxx/Marshall’s; and the Tata Harper purifying cleanser. My second one is almost empty and there will certainly be a third. It’s my favorite morning cleanse 🙂

For hydration, I’ve played the field but have come back to Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate, now in mega size! It’s fantastic for dehydrated skin. I love mixing up my mists, but I’ve gone through multiple Caudalie beauty elixirs. I loved this limited edition packaging.

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Pixi Glow Tonic was the original #CarolineHironsMadeMeDoIt purchase. I’ve gone through several full sizes, although all I have right now is this wee baby one. I keep this, even though it’s empty, so I can refill it when I eventually repurchase glow tonic.

I seem to get a lot of samples of moisturizers, but I liked the Clinique overnight moisture surge mask so much I bought the full size. Although it claims to be a mask, I just apply like a moisturizer in the evening and find my skin is plump and happy in the mornings.

My second The Body Shop Himalayan purifying mask is waiting patiently to be opened. This is the only face mask I’ve ever repurchased – it’s that good.

Lastly, I’ve waxed lyrical about the Skincando Combat Ready Balm before. It’s a great multi-tasker that the whole family uses so we upgraded to the jumbo size!

Makeup

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There is only one eyeshadow primer for me: the NARS primer. I’ve tried several and the NARS one is the best. I will always repurchase even though it’s kind of expensive and I don’t love the packaging.

I don’t buy mascara very often because I seem to always get samples, but when I got a sample of the YSL The Shock mascara, I loved it so much I bought the full size (which I have yet to open because I’ve gotten a couple more minis since then). It volumizes and doesn’t smudge, which are my main requirements.

I’m super low maintenance with my eyebrows; they really need more attention than I care to give them. 😉  I’ve been happy with the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow wiz, so I’ve bought it many times. Ulta often has it half off one day of their 21 Days of Beauty event twice a year.

It takes a long time to use up an eyeshadow so the only one I’ve repurchased is the Maybelline color tattoo in Bad to the Bronze. I love a good cream shadow! This one has a stiffer texture that is similar to the MAC paint pots, but I was still able to use my last one for over two years before it dried up. I had hit major pan by that point. It layers well, goes with everything, and doesn’t crease. Two thumbs up!

I usually only have one concealer open at once and the Maybelline Fit Me concealer has been my one-and-only at least twice. The shade Light is better suited to me in the summer so I’m using it now.

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I own a LOT of lipstick, but there are a few that I’ve repurchased: Too Faced la creme lipstick in Spice Spice Baby and YSL rouge volupte shine in No. 9 – both pinky brown nudes. NARS Tolede falls into this category, too, and I’m sure I will repurchase it when mine is empty. I’ve also repurchased the Bite Beauty amuse bouche lipstick in Fig, a cool-toned pink. I’ve repurchased the shades Watermelon and Juice in the Bite Beauty lush lip tint but they’re sadly discontinued. Snap them up if you see them at TJ Maxx/Marshall’s.

Speaking of lip products, I’ve gone through a number of Burt’s Bees chapsticks. Loving this coconut and pear flavored one right now. The Fresh potted lip balms are excellent, too. I finished a Caramel one earlier this year and instead of repurchasing it, I got the newly released flavors of Coconut and Lemon. I’ve been disappointed in the Lemon, but I would repurchase the Coconut or Caramel again.

Makeup Brushes

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When I find a makeup brush I like, I buy multiples. Anyone else? Some favorites are the Real Techniques multi-tasker brush, which only comes in a set. PLEASE sell it individually RT! I have two but I’ve seriously thought about getting a third set even though I’m not interested in the two other brushes in the set. This brush is that good.

My favorite eye brushes are by It Cosmetics for Ulta, specifically the number 112 (precision shadow) and number 105 (blending). I have three MAC 217s – probably the most famous makeup brush out there. (However I only find a synthetic brush on their website and mine are definitely natural hair so it seems they’ve discontinued the ones I have and I can’t speak for the synthetic version.) Lastly, I have two Sephora Collection dual ended brush number 205s (shadow and crease).

For makeup brush cleaner, I always come back to the MAC one. I use baby shampoo for a deep clean, but for regular cleaning, this quick-drying stuff with a spout is excellent.

Haircare

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I don’t use a lot of hair products, so there’s not much to repurchase. I always choose new shampoos/conditioners because I find that my hair looks dull when I repeat too long. I’ve tried a number of samples of heat protectants, leave in conditioners, de-tanglers, etc. The only one I’ve liked enough to repurchase is the Bumble & Bumble hairdressers invisible oil primer.

I’ve gone through numerous bottles of Batiste dry shampoo. It leaves a white cast initially but absorbs easily and I don’t feel it in my hair after it’s rubbed in. This giant can was under $10 at Marshall’s. It’s a keeper!

Hand Creams

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I have a lot of hand creams 🙂 I use them constantly and love trying new ones. That said, I have tried-and-true favorites that I’ve repurchased and always have on hand (pun not intended). Caudalie and L’Occitane make beautiful hand creams. I love that L’Occitane ones come in a million scents and you can always find minis in GWPs. I have several from their advent calendar last year.

Old school favorites are Soap & Glory hand food (original and sugar crush scents) and Pacifica Tuscan blood orange body butter. They smell delicious!

Shower Products

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I never repurchase shampoos and conditioners because I find that my hair gets dull when I use the same ones repeatedly. I love mixing up shower gels, too, but ones that have repeatedly made their way into my shower are the Lush Rose Jam (seasonal) and L’Occitane almond shower oil. (Wish mine had a pump!) I have a refill bag of the almond oil at the ready. I love that L’Occitane has those for some products.

I love a good body oil for locking in moisture out of the shower. I haven’t had the Trader Joe’s lemongrass coconut body oil all that long. I won it in a giveaway on Instagram a few months ago. But I loved it so much from the first use that I already bought a backup in case it was a limited run, as Trader Joe’s beauty products tend to be. The last I checked it was still available and less than $5. I can’t recommend it enough!

Lastly, I’ve purchased these little Caudalie divine oils multiple times and I gladly would again.

 

What products do you repurchase? Spot any favorites?

(None of these links are affiliate; I purchased all of these products myself – repeatedly!)

How to Get That Summer Glow

I love this time of year when it comes to makeup looks: less is more abounds and everyone is keen on a bronzy, glowy, dewy look. I think that’s a fun and flattering look so I embrace this! Here are some products I reach for when I want that summer time glow 🙂

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A major way to get glowy is with a highlighting makeup primer. I use these year-round for a “lit from within” healthy glow, but tend to really play this up during the summer.

If you want a major highlight, look no further than the Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter. (Sent to me by Influenster.) I have the shade Dew You?, which is described as a golden peach. This is, frankly, a little bit dark for my fair/light skin. I find it works best as a primer under foundation than dabbed on top of the foundation. The packaging is luxurious glass with a nice pump. If you have deeper skin, Marc Jacobs recently released another shade that would suit you. If you’re really fair, you should probably skip this one.

The Laura Mercier Radiance Primer really does give a radiant glow. It’s much more subtle than the Marc Jacobs highlighter so it’s appropriate for any day, any situation in my opinion. The tube packaging is easy to use. Laura Mercier is available loads of places (Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstrom, etc.) so you can often find a gift with purchase to include a travel size of this primer (as I have pictured) to test it out. I’ve used a full sized tube in the past so I was glad to get my hands on this mini.

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Becca also does great liquid highlighting products. Their Backlight Priming Filter is great, and they have several shades of their Liquid Highlighter so you can find the shade that suits your skin tone. Since a little goes a long way, I suggest looking for a kit like this one to get a smaller version. I have minis of the shades Opal and Moonstone (pictured) from similar sets. I love that these have wands so I can stripe across the top of my cheekbone and pat in.

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It’s hard to resist the beauty of a pressed powder highlight. I have a few that I love rotating between. The Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer is a cult classic and probably the highlighter I’ve had the longest. It’s versatile enough to build up or keep relatively subtle, and it would work well as an eyeshadow. The Balm (also available at Kohl’s) often runs great promos and I’ve seen it on Hautelook so you can get a good deal on it. The full sized product will last you forever.

This cute baby Laura Geller baked highlighter is pretty subtle; very wearable for every day. I believe it only comes in this one shade, which would be best for medium skin tones or lighter.

This isn’t the best photo, but here is a shot of the products swatched:

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(Top to Bottom: The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer; Laura Geller baked highlighter; Laura Mercier radiance primer; Becca liquid illuminator in Moonstone; Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter in Dew You?.)

Don’t forget about the rest of your body!

The Tatcha luminous dewy skin mist is another “cult classic” product. A few years ago, every Youtuber I followed was raving about it and it put Tatcha on the map, at least for me. It definitely leaves a dewy finish so if you have oily skin, I suggest finding a tester at Sephora to make sure it doesn’t make you look greasy. One nice thing is that you can find the travel size in several sets, like this one.

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There are lots of fun shimmery body oils out these days, but this one from Herbivore is really nice. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a good shot of how it looks on the skin, but it’s noticeable enough to make you glow without looking glittery or weird.

What’s your favorite way to get that summery glow?

 

April Empties

Here are my very belated April empties! I didn’t use up too much last month, but I have a good feeling about May and June 😉

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Skincare

1.  Tatcha luminous dewy sheet mask – I did a separate review of this mask. It didn’t wow me, especially for $12. Then again, I’m not a die-hard fan of the luminous dewy skin mist, and I’m also not that into sheet masks so I may not be the best person to review it. Value =  $12.

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2.  Tatcha water cream sample – I have a full size of this that I won in a giveaway recently. It’s beautiful and I’m enjoying it in the warmer weather.

3.  Since Farmacy deep moisture sheet masks were in my S.O.S. Skincare post, you can imagine that I like them 🙂 Value = $9

4.  Origins mega mushroom treatment lotion sample – A number of my Instagram friends love this lotion so I picked up a sample at Sephora. Calling it a “lotion” is not a great name; it is more of a toner with a watery consistency like an essence. I enjoyed it and would consider getting the full size in the future, maybe after I finish my Fresh rose deep hydration toner.

5.  Tata Harper resurfacing mask – I have had several little samples of this and every time I enjoy it more and more. I recently started using it, per the brand’s suggestion, mixed with the regenerating cleanser as “flash facial.” I picked up a kit from Sephora during the VIB sale that includes the full size, but I don’t see it online. Value = $15.50

6.  Paula’s Choice 10% niacinamide booster – With regular use I could see diminished pores so I would have repurchased but my friend Lara (@myfairskincare) kindly sent me her 10% niacinamide from The Ordinary so I’m using that for now. Value = $42

Bodycare

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7.  Korres whipped body butter in Japanese rose – I love the regular Japanese rose body butter and every other Korres body butter I’ve tried, but this was a miss. I picked it up at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s (where I usually buy Korres products) a while back. I liked it at first. The texture is a little lighter than their standard body butters, but not a “whipped” texture so the name isn’t really accurate. Part way through the tube, the product started separating so there would be oil and lotion separately each time you squeezed. I’m not sure if it was getting old or if that’s a flaw with this formula. I can’t even find it online to link it (except on eBay) so it may be discontinued and mine had just gotten old. Value = $12

8.  Tree Hut shea sugar scrub in Hawiian kukui – This is a great budget scrub. There are lots of scents to choose from, many of which are pretty sweet. I liked this more floral one when I sniffed them at my local Ulta. The sugar granules are larger. You get a good scrub without it being too abrasive. The only downside was I wasted some product because the consistency was sort of jelly-like and inevitably when I scooped some scrub out and went to apply to my body, it would get sorta stuck to my hand and then fall on the bottom of the shower instead of my skin. Maybe it’s just me? I would repurchase but there are plenty of other scrubs I like as well or better. Value = $8

9.  Trader Joe’s shea hand cream – This is obviously trying to be a dupe for the L’occitane shea hand cream, and it’s a pretty good effort at being one. Although it says it has 20% shea butter, it didn’t feel quite as thick as the L’occitane version. It has a similar texture, smell, and packaging. I don’t recall the exact price as I won this one in a different giveaway (thanks @glow_upyourgame!) but I’m sure it’s under $10. Most of Trader Joe’s beauty products don’t stick around for long so if you’re near a store, pick this up soon! Value = $8

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10.  As much as I liked the Trader Joe’s hand cream, there’s just no substitute for the L’Occitane ones to me. I prefer the scented ones, but the original shea is great too. These tiny ones aren’t available for purchase separately (I’ve linked the next largest size) but they’re in GWPs all the time so I always have one in my bag. Value = $2

11.  Pacifica blood orange body butter – I LOVE this scent. I’ve been using it for years. I like a lot of the Pacifica body butters, which have a nice mid-weight feel to them, but the blood orange scent is, by far, my favorite. Value = $5

Haircare & Makeup

12.  Living Proof night cap overnight protector – This feels like a summer product to me because I apply to wet hair, French braid, and let it air dry. My hair is naturally wavy but it needs product to air dry and look decent. If I use this at night and sleep with wet hair (hence why this is a summer product to me), my hair may not be completely dry in the morning but I can take it out of the braid with nice, loose waves. I can even re-braid at the end of the day and get a second day out of the style. Even if I don’t re-braid, the product helps keep the style from looking frizzy. The only downside is that I can only get 2 days out of a style when I’ll get 4-5 days out of a blow dry, but this is great for days when it’s just too darn hot to blow dry. I have an other mini and the full size so I need to experiment more with this. If you’ve tried, how does it work best for you? Value = $7.25

13.  Maybelline lash sensational mascara in black waterproof – I had high hopes for this because I’d heard good things and I generally like Maybelline mascaras, but it disappointed me. I didn’t get a lot of volume, which is a main requirement for me with mascaras. Maybe the waterproof version isn’t as good? Value = $9

Other

14.  Voluspa petite candle in Goji Tarocco Orange – This cute little guy was part of a set that I was given for Christmas. It’s my first Voluspa candle and I would like to try more. I LOVE the scent of this. It didn’t have the widest throw, but it did burn pretty evenly. Value = $9

15.  Velamints blood orange mints – I’m sensing a theme this month haha 😉 I realize this is rather random but I enjoyed them so I thought I’d throw them in. I got mine at Trader Joe’s but I recently spotted them at Staples of all places so I expect they are available elsewhere. The packaging was a little annoying and the mints themselves are pretty hard, but it’s nice to have something other than mint for a change. Value = $3

The total value of my April empties is $141.75.  That is the lowest value thus far this year, but still brings the value of my 2018 empties to $1,277.38!