October, November, December Empties!

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Apparently my empties posts are becoming quarterly and I’m already half a quarter behind. Oops! Sorry for the radio silence over here. The short of it is: life got crazy. But since empties posts are some of my favorites to write and your favorites to read, I couldn’t just throw away my trash without showing you! Let’s dive in.

Cleansers

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Superfacialist cleansing oil by Una Brennan – If you see this at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s (the only places I’ve ever seen it in the U.S.), snap it up! This big container was like $7. It’s an effective makeup removing cleansing oil. It has a sweet sort of candy-like citrusy scent that I enjoyed. I would buy it again if I ran across it. Value = $7

Leahlani honey love sample – It pains me to say this, but this is just too harsh for me. I LOVE the smell so much and I really wanted to make it work. I used up a full size jar a couple of years ago and felt like it was too much physical exfoliation, but the last time I ordered from Leahlani I requested a sample so I could see if my feelings had changed. Alas, they haven’t.

Votary rose, geranium, and apricot cleansing oil – This isn’t quite empty but I think it’s gone off. I’ve had it WAY longer than the supposed 6 month expiration so I guess I can’t complain. This is a beautiful, luxurious cleansing oil if you don’t mind needing to remove with a cloth. The smell was too strong for me when I was pregnant so I set this aside for a while and just didn’t get through it all before it went bad, but I would consider repurchasing when I have fewer cleansers in my stash. Value = $72

Elemis pro-collagen cleansing balm – I actually have a full size of this cleansing balm to use, but it isn’t my favorite. It stings my eyes a bit 😦 I think I’ll have to remove eye makeup separately to get through the full size but I would not repurchase.

Tatcha pure one step camellia cleansing oil – Such a nice cleansing oil! Has a light scent, rinses clean, does the job. One of these days I’ll get the full size. Value = $15

Hydration and Serums

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Paula’s Choice 10% niacinamide booster – This stuff really helps with the appearance of my pores when I use several drops and apply directly to my face, instead of mixing a few drops into something else. The downside is that I go through it quickly! Value = $44

Jordan Samuel Skin hydrate serum – My one and only hydrating serum πŸ™‚ I repurchased immediately. Value = $72

Fresh black tea kombucha essence – I enjoyed this a lot. It has a very silky texture that feels high-end. Because this is high end! I went through it awfully fast but I would consider repurchasing. I’m trying out some other less expensive essences first. Value = $68

Moisturizers and Eye Creams

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Drunk Elephant c-tango eye cream – This had a gel type texture that felt nice on but I can’t say much else about it. Value = $21.33

Murad hydro-dynamic moisturizer – I’ve been through a full size of this in the past and remember really loving it, but I was less wowed this time around. Maybe my sample had gotten a little old? It seemed to have trouble absorbing when my skin was damp.

Tatcha the water cream – I won this bad boy in a giveaway and enjoyed it for 6 months. πŸ™‚ I can’t say it’s anything special to warrant the price tag, but I did like it. I found that less is more with this. I think I like their silk cream better though because my skin is on the drier side. Value = $68

Belif peat eye cream – I think this is the only full sized eye cream I’ve ever gone through! It was on the thicker side, which I really liked for winter. It kept my under eyes moisturized and makeup went well on top. I can’t say it worked any miracles, but I didn’t expect it to. Value = $58

Belif the true cream moisturizing bomb – This is a great moisturizer for dry skin. It’s pretty basic so there’s not much else to say! Value = $38

Oils, Acids, & Sunscreen

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La Roche-Posay anthelios clear skin sunscreen – I liked this a lot on its own because it didn’t leave a white cast and it felt smooth and not stick on the skin, but it had a tendency to pill with certain skincare or makeup since it was oil free. I don’t think I would repurchase. Value = $19.99

Herbivore phoenix oil – I enjoyed this, and I love having the change to try with the smaller medicine dropper size. It didn’t wow me enough to purchase the full size, but I would try it again in the future when I go through other things. Value = $28

Sunday Riley good genes – This. stuff. is. life. I’m going through some samples but then I’ll repurchase the full size. It’s my favorite chemical exfoliator. Value = $105

Drunk Elephant marula oil – I’m going through another slightly larger sample of this so I’ll sort of reserve judgment until I finish that one. Stay tuned for my next empties post πŸ˜‰ Value = $7.20

Sunday Riley UFO – As you can see, this is largely full. Sigh. I just don’t reach for this and I’ve had it for a long time so it’s probably bad anyway. I did find it effective when I used it, but I don’t think I need much salicylic acid in my life, and I don’t exfoliate enough to want a clarifying facial oil. I’m also using my Jordan Samuel etoile with retinol oil every other night. So for all of these reasons, its time to let this go. Value = $80

Samples and Sheet Masks

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I used up several samples as well as a sheet mask. Since my experience with most of these was pretty limited, I’ll keep things short:

Loved: Jordan Samuel Skin matinee cleanser, Fresh soy face cleanser

Liked: Clinique TTDO balm (x2), Beautycounter pure calm cleansing milk, Fresh soy cleansing milk, Knours one perfect cream

Okay: Paula’s Choice body treatment 2% AHA, Beautycounter intense moisture serum, Bliss hangover fix sheet mask*

Haircare & Nails

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Hempz sweet pineapple and honey melon shampoo – I did not care for this. The shampoo itself was only okay. The smell was awfully sweet for my taste. I didn’t find it volumizing, although I don’t necessarily need a volumizing shampoo. The packaging leaked. Meh. Value = $5

Essie polish in bahama mama – Such a classic shade! I think mine is just too old because the last time I wore it, it performed terribly. No one has time for that! Value = $9

Dove dry shampoo in volume and fullness and fresh and floral – I liked the volume and fullness one and have repurchased that one. It isn’t the best ever at absorbing oil, but it does add volume, which is nice, and does a decent job with oil. It also doesn’t leave such a strong white cast that I have to rub in compared with Batiste. The fresh and floral smelled nice but just didn’t do much. I wouldn’t repurchase that one. Value = $5.98

Ouai rose hair and body oil – This was fine, but it’s so overpriced for what it is. I truly believe it’s popular because it’s pink and Ouai is a popular brand. This mini packaging also leaked. Value = $9.06

Glisten & Glow quick drying top coat – Excellent! This is just like seche vite, but I got more use out of it before it got gloopy in comparison to seche vite. I would repurchase for sure. Value = $6.99

Body care and Hand care

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L’Occitane shea, rose, and almond hand creams – My sweet friend Kristin (@lacquerandlipstick) sent me the shea hand cream, and I picked up the rose one in the airport in Europe this summer. I was so excited to be able to get a full sized tube of the rose since you can’t buy that in the U.S. I should’ve bought two! L’Occitane hand creams are a staple, especially those minis. Value = $70 total

Lush rose jam shower gel – God, this smells amazing. I’m so glad they made it permanent instead of seasonal. I will definitely repurchase when I use up some other things. Value = $19.95

Trader Joe’s grapefruit ginger body scrub – I loved this! I doubt it’s still available because their body care tends to be limited run, but if you see it, pick it up! It smelled nice, was just the right amount of scrubby, and I loved the tube packaging. Value = $4

Aerin rose hand cream – I like the Aerin rose scented perfumes, but their rose scented body care/skincare is very powdery smelling and I don’t much care for it. This smells a lot like their rose cream cleanser, which I reviewed in my very first blog post here! I threw this away before noting how big it was so I can’t calculate the value… oops!

Beautycounter citrus mimosa hand cream – I love this scent, but this isn’t so much a hand cream as a lotion. I was hoping for a thicker texture. This would work better as a body lotion for me. My hands are constantly dry in the winter so I need more, but if you don’t need that, this would probably work well for you. I know a couple of Beautycounter reps that I can hook you up with if you need one and you’re interested πŸ™‚ Value = $18

Korres Japanese rose body butter – I like Korres body butters a lot, but they aren’t as good as the L’Occitane ones in my mind. They have a very silky texture, which feels nice, but isn’t quite as moisturizing as those thick shea butter ones. Value = $6.59

Makeup

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BKR paris water balm – Isn’t this such a cute sample? This was in an Allure beauty box. I used it up quickly because the sample was tiny. I liked it, but it wasn’t anything special.

Sephora melting lip click in shade 04 cotton candy – An easy, every day pink lippie. There isn’t much product in here so I went through it quickly. You have to click a lot of times to get it to come up enough to use it, which was kind of annoying. I would consider repurchasing because of the reasonable price, but it isn’t a must-have. Value = $14

L’Oreal voluminous lash paradise mascara in black – This was a favorite! I’ve repurchased and surely will again. It gives good volume, a little clumpy, but not too much. Most importantly, it doesn’t budge! I have to admit I like the pink tube too πŸ™‚ Value = $9.99

Fresh sugar lip treatment in dream – I was hoping to get a little more color from this, but there was hardly any. In that sense, you’re just as well to buy the original. But I love the feel of these sugar lip treatments. Value = $26

 

Total value for the quarter: $908.08!

Total value for all 2018 empties: $3,796.42. Yowza. Remember, this is value not necessarily what I spent, but still. It certainly puts things in perspective.

That said, I don’t think I’m going to calculate value for my 2019 empties posts unless you all protest! These posts take a lot of time to prepare and adding the value is one more step. If I was better at tracking what I actually spent on products, that would probably be more interesting to me.

*Gifted

Raazika Cosmetics: Review

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Raazika Cosmetics has a pretty incredible story. The 15-year old founder had a friend who was so self-conscious about her appearance that she was having suicidal thoughts. Raazika helped her friend feel more confident through makeup, and founded the brand as a way to help boys and girls feel beautiful and strong. Raazika means “one who provides for others” in Arabic. The brand donates a portion of proceeds to BESTRONG, an organization dedicated to helping teens with bullying and substance abuse, and suicide prevention. What a powerful message! Raazika is also cruelty free, fragrance free, vegan, and Halal certified. It literally ticks all the boxes for consumers who are looking for a sustainable makeup brand.

So when Raazika offered to send me some things to review, I gladly accepted. I’m pleased to report, I’m generally very happy with what they sent! Let’s dive in:

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Hi Def Foundation* in shades N1 Snow White and N2 Creamy $36

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(N2 on top and N1 on the bottom.)

This is a medium to high coverage foundation with good wear time. The shade N2 was a pretty good color match for me. It’s maybe a tiny bit light but I suspect as we get further into winter, it’ll match just perfectly. (My skin tone is 1Y04 or 1Y05 in Sephora’s Color IQ, for reference.) My skin is normal to dry this time of year and I think if you have really dry skin, you would need to prep it well before using this foundation, or else it may cling to dry patches. I haven’t had any issues with it, but I can also sense that IΒ could if I wasn’t sufficiently moisturized, if that makes sense.

The packaging has a pump, which is also a plus.

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Liquid Velvet liquid lipsticks* in shades 839 porsche pink and 817 pink boogatti, $27 each

These shades are so bright and fun! I don’t generally gravitate toward liquid lipsticks, but I find this moussy texture to be perfectly comfortable and wear well through drinking and light eating. These are my favorite Raazika makeup item!

Lip Pencil* in shade Tango $17

This is probably the product I could most live without. It’s a traditional pencil-like shape and texture and needs to be sharpened. It’s a bit stiff. Not so much that it hurt or tugged on my lips when I applied, but definitely not creamy. I have worn alone with a gloss on top and thought the color was pretty.

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Top to bottom: Lip pencil in Tango; Lip Velvet in pink boogatti; Lip Velvet in porsche pink.

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Jumbo flat top brush* (#280) $30 and small pointed face brush* (#175) $25

These are my other favorites! They are so soft and feel weighty in your hand. I’ve been using the flat top brush for foundation, and the small pointed face brush for highlighter.

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I think the prices across the range are reasonable, especially considering the brand’s standards. I hope that Raazika takes off and can expand the shade ranges as well as the product offerings.

*Products kindly gifted by brand. All opinions are, of course, my own.

(These are not affiliate links; they are merely for your convenience.)

August/September Empties

Holy moly, it’s been a while, friends! Sorry about the radio silence over here. As some of you know, I started a new job in September and things have been a bit crazy on the home front. And as much I love doing empties posts (and you all seem to love reading them), they’re the most time-intensive blog posts I write. Since we’re almost done with October and I’ve got a new stash of empties piling up, it’s time to get reviewing the August/September empties!

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Per usual, I’ll break things up into categories and do reviews. Let’s start with skincare!

Skincare

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Mac Fix Plus in Coconut – I love mini Fix+ for travel because the mist part has a lock mechanism. I like the mist, but even though I like coconut, I didn’t love a coconut scented mist. I’m using the rose one now and I like it a lot. Value = $12

Youth To The People Kale + Tripeptide 5 Vitamin C Serum – Vitamin C serums are difficult for me but I enjoyed this a lot. Anything with hyaluronic acid in it is up my ally. I did not notice any irritation with this. It’s a clear liquid consistency. It paired well with other things. I’m trying to finish my Brooklyn Botany vitamin c but I might purchase this after I finish it. Value = $16.53

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser – I seem always to have minis of this cleanser around. I like it, but I tend to prefer acid exfoliation or an occasional physically-exfoliating mask over exfoliating cleansers. I did like to mix this with her mask as a “flash facial,” as suggested by the brand. I have at least one more to use eventually but I wouldn’t purchase the full size. Value = $22.87

Leahlani Champagne Serum – This is my second bottle of this and I feel like I have to backtrack to the first bottle to fully review it. I purchased my first bottle as soon as Caroline Hirons turned me onto the brand and said that this was one of her favorite products. I lived in Southern California at the time and my skin was normal to slightly oily. I loved the tropical smell of the product and enjoyed using it in conjunction with her masks, but found it took a long time to absorb and probably wasn’t the best fit for me so I used it up but did not repurchase. Fast forward to Christmas 2017, I got another bottle in the last Caroline Hirons for Cult Beauty box and since I had moved to Minnesota, I was excited to try it again. I immediately noticed that the color was a little different. Leahlani added blue tansy to the formula and I really don’t understand that choice. I know blue tansy is popular, and I love it in May Lindstrom blue cocoon, but blue tansy is not native to Hawaii and that change in scent takes away from the product for me. Otherwise, I had a very similar experience with this the second time around, and found it did not absorb quickly enough for me. I like other Leahlani products, but this one isn’t for me. Value = $38

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% – After I finished my Paula’s Choice niacinamide booster, my sweet friend Lara (@myfairskincare) sent me her barely used niacinamide from The Ordinary.Β  It’s not good. It caused products to pill and I did not notice any decrease in pore size (while I did when using the Paula’s Choice). I wouldn’t purchase anything affiliated with Deciem even if I loved it. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google it but only if you have an hour to waste.) Clearly, I’ve gone back to the Paula’s Choice. Value = $5.90

Sunscreen

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IS Clinical Eclipse SPF 50 – These were so handy to keep in my purse! I generally prefer physical sunscreens and this is a chemical sunscreen, but it worked well. I didn’t notice any white cast or have difficulty getting it to absorb. Value = $4.40 each

Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream – I’ve heard good things about this, but it was terrible. It left my hands chalky and dry. I love the idea of having a hand cream with SPF so you’re protecting your hands, but this is definitely not it. Value = $.76

Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen SPF 50 – I have to admit that I did not finish this before it expired. I remember thinking it was decent, for whatever that’s worth but it did not wow me. Value = $2.67

Supergoop Setting Mist SPF 50 – This is the only mini SPF mist I’m aware of so I like it for that reason. I could throw it in my purse or leave it in the car to reapply over makeup. I have another one! It’s kind of expensive, but it’s important to be able to reapply over makeup that it’s worth it to me. Value = $12

Bodycare

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Lather lemongrass bamboo body scrub – I LOVED the scent of this! It’s kind of a dry scrub but when you add water, it foams a little and gives a nice scrub. (Full disclosure: I purchased this at a discount through Join Palm.) I would definitely repurchase. Value = $39

Tatcha indigo body gommage –Β  This was the fanciest body scrub I’ve ever used. It was a total splurge (although I did get it 20% off) but I won’t rave too much because it was limited edition and isn’t available anymore 😦  I really like the whole indigo line from Tatcha. Value = $74

Meow Meow Tweet baking soda free grapefruit deodorant – I posted in this post about a different Meow Meow Tweet deodorant not working for me and the brand kindly offered to send me samples of some of their other deodorants. I was happy to try others and I think this one worked okay, but I just haven’t found a “natural” deo that is fully effective for me.

Osea Malibu anti-aging body balm – This was in my first Beauty Heroes sub box, which I reviewed here. I went through this really quickly and it just didn’t wow me for the money. Value = $16

Twig + Birdie body oil – I tragically dropped an almost full bottle of this on the bathroom floor and it shattered 😦  I saved what I could and put in this reused bottle. It was lavender and neroli goodness and I would love to repurchase eventually. Value = $35 (most of which was, sadly, wasted…)

Rituals Indian rose hand balm – Ya’ll know I love a good hand cream! This was pretty good. Nothing super original to say about it… Value = $2.43

L’Occitane shea butter hand cream – A stand by. You can’t go wrong with L’Occitane if you like a thick but not greasy hand cream. Value = $2

Trader Joe’s rose shea butter hand cream – This is a total dupe for the L’Occitane and I love the rose scent. I haven’t seen it the last couple of times I’ve been to Trader Joe’s so I’m glad I bought a back up! I’m crossing my fingers it returns, or maybe new scents! If you see it, grab it! Value = $4

Makeup

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Mally Volumnizing Mascara – This was in an Allure beauty box. I expect volume that doesn’t smudge from my mascaras, and unfortunately, I did not find this volumnizing at all. It lengthened and it stayed put pretty well but I need more volume. Value = $20

Marc Jacobs highliner in (brown)ie – I love the Marc Jacobs eyeliners so this was no exception. I got this one free from Influenster but I would repurchase. The shade is fairly warm-toned, a little reddish brown, so it paired well with all of the warm-toned eyeshadow palettes that are so popular right now. These are creamy, easy to apply, and don’t budge. Tip: the bottom comes off to re-shape the tip (since this is a twist up). Value = $25

SkinFix Lip Repair Balm in Mint – I like a lot of lip balms, but I hated this. It was thin and not at all moisturizing so I’m throwing it away. Value = $5

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15 in Bloom – LOVE these. They are so smooth and moisturizing and have a decent color payoff but you can apply without a mirror. This shade was a cooler toned pink. I liked it but I probably prefer the shade Petal. Value = $24

Burt’s Bees chapstick in Coconut & Pear – Love a good chapstick πŸ™‚ The coconut and pear flavor was delicious. Would totally repurchase. Value = $2.90

Hair & Miscellaneous

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Hunting Home candle in Gardenia – These Aldi candles are a steal! I haven’t checked out the fall scents; this was one of the spring ones. But I enjoyed it. It burned evenly and was so cheap! Value = $4

White Barn Cactus Blossom candle – I don’t know how to describe this scent, but the B&BW website says cactus flower, coconut, vanilla and lemon. I enjoyed it. I love getting these half-off when that promo comes around. Value = $24.50

Batiste dry shampoo in blush – This giant can (400 ml) was super cheap at Marshall’s but kind of a pain to store… Otherwise, I love Batiste. I will continue to repurchase. It’s the best dry shampoo I’ve found in terms of absorbing oil, although it can leave a white cast. I don’t have trouble getting that whiteness to absorb so that doesn’t bother me. Value = $10

Aerin garden rose perfume sample – I really enjoyed this. I don’t think there’s an Aerin fragrance I’ve smelled that I haven’t liked. One of these days I’ll splurge πŸ˜‰

Jo Malone wild bluebell sample – My sweet friend Kristin (@lacquerandlipstick) sent me this and I really enjoyed the scent, but, sadly, it did not last very long on me.

L. Erikson ponytail holder – I realize it’s sort of weird to discuss a stretched out ponytail holder in an empties post, but they’re SO GOOD that I felt the need to share that with you! I know everybody loves Invisibobble and those are good, but these do not leave any kinks at all. I got one in a Birchbox a million years ago and bought a tube of a variety of colors that I’m still going through because they last a long time. Highly recommend! Value = $1.20

Sheet Masks and Foil Samples

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Farmacy deep moisture mask (these have been repackaged); Eclado double wired lifting mask peption 5; H. Lab black truffle aqua mask; Sephora rose face mask – I used all of the sheet masks in the shower, which was an awesome suggestion from FrankieΒ so I felt about the same about all of them except for the double wired lifting mask, which was in two pieces and was too much hassle. Total Value = $24.10

Charlotte Tilbury matte revolution lipstick sample in Very Victoria – This was kind of a useless sample so if you order from CT, don’t bother with the lipstick samples. I love the matte revolution line but I was afraid the shade Very Victoria would be too brown for me. It didn’t appear to be from what I could tell from the sample, but there was so little product to test, I still can’t say for sure.

Drunk Elephant protini moisturizer sample – I LOVED this. It was hydrating and reasonably thick but definitely not heavy and absorbed nicely. If I didn’t have a million mini moisturizers to get through, I would buy the full size right now.

Giorgio Armani luminous silk foundation sample in shade 4 – This was a decent formula, but it didn’t blow me away. Maybe my expectations were too high because I’ve heard people rave about this foundation. It was a good color match. I would definitely want to test further before considering a purchase.

Tatcha silken pore perfecting SPF 35 – I have a full size of this. It’s so expensive but it’s SO nice. I’m sure when I finish my current bottle I will look again for something cheaper but I keep coming back to this because the finish is so beautiful.

Real Techniques brush cleansing gel – I hated this. I didn’t find it very effective and I didn’t like the smell.

Total value for these two months = $432.66! (As always, this is my calculation of value, not necessarily what I spent.)

Thanks for sticking with me during the break, and I sincerely hope to have another new post up soon!

 

July Empties!

Holy moly the summer is disappearing 😦 Where did July go!? I have a lot of empties to share with you, which is why it took me so long to get this post published!

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I’ll break things down into Skincare, Makeup, Bodycare, Haircare, and Candles.

Skincare

Clarins pure melt cleansing gel – I got two or three uses out of this tiny sample. It effectively removed makeup and did not irritate my eyes. It is fragranced, but not heavily (in my opinion). I can smell the marula oil. This is more of a natural scent than other things I’ve tried from Clarins (see the hand cream below). I didn’t fall in love with it, but I’d be happy if it crossed my path again. Value = $.97

Tata Harper purifying cleanser – This is my favorite cleanser. Ever. I have repurchased it, and I’m sure I will again when I don’t have a million open cleansers and can get it 20% off. (The price keeps going up 😦 ) It has a lemon and ginger scent to me, and a “runny clay” consistency as Caroline Hirons once described it, which melts with water into a lather. It’s just gorgeous. I’ve been enjoying the OSEA Malibu cleanser and don’t feel the need to have both, but I still prefer the Tata and will have it again someday. Value = $70

Evian facial spray – If you need quick hydration, this will do it. As you might expect, there isn’t a smell it’s basically just water. I wouldn’t seek this out, but I would be happy to use it again. I think this came in some kind of set because I’m sure I didn’t buy it separately. Value = $7.50

Fresh rose deep hydration facial toner – Don’t buy this if you’re looking for a deeply hydrating toner; this isn’t one. However, the packaging says it “removes impurities and softens,” and that is a much more accurate description of what it does. Once I came to terms with that, I liked this product a lot more. If I want a deeply hydrating toner, there’s no substitute for Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate serum. This is nice to swipe on in lieu of a morning cleanse, or to remove any last traces of a mask. It left my skin feeling soothed and smooth, but hydrated? Not so much. Value = $44

May Lindstrom the problem solver – An Insta friend sent me a sample of the problem solver, and I mixed the proportions suggested by my friend Emily (@glow_upyourgame), which meant I only had enough for one mask and it turned out a little too watery. Powdered masks require a bit of play. This was a bit intense. It wasn’t too much to handle, but it definitely tingled. I would be interested in trying this more and mixing it with other products, but I don’t know if I liked it enough to want to spend $100 on a big jar. If I could get a smaller size, I might go for it. (Since this was a homemade sample I don’t know how to calculate the value.)

Biossance squalane gel moisturizer – This was fine. If you like gel moisturizers, I think you would like it. It didn’t wow me. Value = $10.40

Youth to the People superfood mask – I like the smooth texture of this mask, which never dried down. It had sort of a “green” smell that I liked. I liked the effect more each time I used it, but I have a lot of masks and this didn’t impress me enough to want to get the full sized jar. Value = $11

Herbivore blue tansy mask – Let’s all shed a tear for this mask that went bad and I never used 😦  I’ve heard great things about this mask, but I have too many exfoliating products and only 1 face. Value = $12

Bobbi Brown long-wear makeup removerΒ – I don’t usually use a separate eye makeup remover unless I’m wearing waterproof mascara, but I slowly found reasons to use this up. It did the trick but I don’t feel the need to purchase. Value = $8.82

Fresh soy face cleansing milk – I picked up a sample of this after hearing a friend rave about it. I did like it, but probably not as much as their soy face cleanser. I’m using a Caudalie cleansing milk now and I found this to be pretty similar so maybe when I use up the Caudalie, I’ll go with the Fresh. I wish it came in multiple sizes like the soy face cleanser does.

Dior fresh jelly mask – I hated this. It has little bead things in it, which didn’t do anything as far as I could tell other than getting in the way. This was also heavily fragranced. No bueno.

Makeup

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Wycon sublime mascaraΒ in black – This isn’t available in the US, but don’t worry about that, because it was lousy. I needed a new mascara while on vacation in Italy in June and picked up this inexpensive one at Wycon. Other Wycon products I bought I’ve been very happy with, but I’m tossing this because it was not volumizing at all. Value = $4

Essie polish in Hip-anema – This was a nice orangy red but it’s gone bad, I think. It’s gotten a bit clumpy and the color has changed, so it’s going in the garbage. This shade isn’t available anymore and I’ve struggled to find a good orangy red. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for a replacement! Value = $9

Benefit porefessional pearl primer – Something about the name “pearl” made me think this was going to be an illuminating version of the original porefessional (which I don’t love). It isn’t; it’s just pink. I don’t know why that does anybody any good. I know some people love this and if you love the original, I suspect you would like this one because, as far as I can tell, they look the same on the skin. But I don’t care for silicone feeling primers so this is a no-go for me.

Marc Jacobs highliner in Ro(Cocoa) – MJ calls this a “golden brown” but I thought it was more neutral toned. It’s a lighter color than the matte one in Earthquake, which I liked a lot too. This is supposedly shimmer finish but that doesn’t translate at all; I don’t see any shimmer at all when I apply this. I like that it’s a twist up, but the bottom of the packaging (the black tip) comes off and has a little re-shaper you can use if the end gets dull and you light more of a point to your eyeliners. There are about a billion color choices. I’ve gone through a few different shades of these and have one more that’s almost finished. I photographed them in my Beauty Products I’ve Repurchased post and then forgot to talk about them! Oops… Point being, I will repurchase these and I particularly like this Ro(Cocoa) shade. Value = $25

Anastasia Beverly Hills brow wiz – This is another product I’ve repurchased many times, but I’m done. Every single one has snapped. It used to happen while traveling so I started traveling with it inside a plastic toothbrush holder. This last one snapped in my everyday makeup bin that I literally lift in and out of the cabinet onto the bathroom sink. WTF. I’m in the market for a new eyebrow pencil! I actually have 1 more of these from the last time they were half off at Ulta but I’m going to let my anger subside a bit before I open it haha πŸ˜‰ Value = $21

Tatcha the silk canvas primer – IΒ wanted to love this. I did. I like Tatcha a lot. This looked and felt beautiful on the skin and the packaging is so pretty. The two things Tatcha always excels at: packaging and texture. But, alas, this didΒ nothing for my makeup. I wore it on half of my face every time to see if I could tell any difference in how my foundation wore. I couldn’t. Money saved, I suppose. Value = $10.40

Pur eye polish in Silk – This was a Youtube made me buy it thing from a few years ago before liquid eyeshadows were so popular. It was pretty, but a bit glittery for everyday so I didn’t reach for it that much. I pulled it out recently and it has completely tried out. The packaging is interesting: it’s in a pot with a mesh strainer thing on top that you press down with a brush or this silicone wand it came with. That lets in lots of extra air so no wonder it dried up. Value = $26

Bodycare

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Tree Hut moisturizing shave oil – This travel sized guy was in some kind of GWP from Ulta and I had no expectations and ended up really enjoying it! I like the idea of a shave oil and this is pretty reasonably priced. It smells fruity, but neither my husband nor I could decide what kind of fruit… Value = $3.11

Beautycounter SPF 30 – I just finished out of these in my May/June empties and we quickly went through another one.Β  They have reformulated their sunscreens and I would eventually like to try the new one, but this older one is still available. It’s rather thick in the tube and I don’t love the finish on my face, but it works well on the body and absorbs well without leaving a white cast (on my already fair skin, at least). I like using this on my son, too. Value = $32

Per usual, I have a few hand creams:

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GYV Beauty hand cream in Dahlia* – I had no expectations about this since I had never heard of the brand and it turned out to be truly beautiful. I would repurchase right now if I didn’t have such a stockpile of hand creams and lotions. The scent was a deeper floral. The texture was moisturizing, not greasy, and left a silky feeling. Just gorgeous. I would like to try more scents πŸ™‚ Value = $24

L’Occitane hand cream in peony – Another baby L’Occitane hand cream. You guys know I love these so I won’t repeat myself πŸ™‚ Value = $2 (this baby size isn’t available for purchase separately)

Clarins hand and nail cream – This is sort of a cult product but I didn’t love it. The texture was nice, but I didn’t care for the smell. It was heavily fragranced and smelled like old lady. Value = $1.76

Pacifica Hawaiian ruby guava body butter – I think this is my favorite scent after the blood orange one. It’s really nice. You’ve seen these before, too, so you know I like them. Value = $5

Haircare

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I did a separate blog post on the Living Proof no frizz nourishing styling cream, Briogeo rosarco blow dry cream, and Alterna caviar anti-frizz blowout butter. Head over there for my full thoughts, but I ended up purchasing the full size of the Living Proof. Value = $4.75 Living Proof, $4.50 Briogeo, $5.78 Alterna

Living Proof PHD shampoo – I hated this. Thank goodness I got it half-off when it was a Sephora Weekly Wow. It claims to make your hair look cleaner longer, which I wasn’t expecting it to do since I only wash my hair about every four days anyway and I struggle to imagine a shampoo or other product that would extend my time between washing longer than that. However, this actually made my scalp look greasy. Sometimes I think it’s a fine line between sleek and shiny and greasy but this definitely crossed the line into greasy. Immediately upon blow drying I thought it looked dirty. No, thanks! Value = $26

Briogeo Rosarco Milk leave-in conditioner – This is really nice. I question whether I need a leave-in conditioner, and I always seem to get travel sizes of this, but I would consider repurchasing. It definitely makes my hair soft. It smells nice, and I like that it has a spray. Value = $20

Lather avocado mint hair mask – I got this little sample with my full size Lather products (see this Instagram post). It was actually an August Palm Pick and I thought about purchasing, but I have two full sized hair masks so I just don’t need. There was only enough for one use in there, but based on that one use I liked it. It was a fun green color from the (natural) ingredients and it smelled like mint (peppermint? Spearmint?). My hair was smooth and shiny after using. The full size is really reasonably priced, too, if you’re in the market for a hair mask.

Lifestyle

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I finished a bunch of candles this month, somehow. I took a poll on Instagram and most people were interested in seeing them, so here we go!

Elizabeth & James Nirvana White – I love this fragrance; I have a full sized bottle of the perfume. But I’m glad I got this candle half off at Nordstrom Rack because it underwhelmed me. It did smell nice but it tunneled. Meh. Value = $40

Bath & Body Works ocean mist & citrus – This appears to be sold out. I let my son (3 years old at the time) choose this one when we smelled all the candles in the store πŸ˜‰ It was a sort of refreshing scent but also a bit artificial like an air freshener. It did look pretty when burned, though. Value = $11.95 (I only ever buy B&BW candles on sale!)

Huntington Homes English pear and freesia – I did an Instagram post about these so I hope you saw it in time to snag one! This smells EXACTLY like the Jo Malone scent of the same name, which I also happen to own. I loved it. It was $4 and burned evenly and had a nice throw with the scent. I have another one, thankfully πŸ™‚ Value = $4

The blue floral one was a $3 Target find which Target may still have if you check. It didn’t have much of a scent throw, but it burned evenly. I mostly bought it to reuse the jar for something πŸ˜‰Β  Value = $3

Origins feel good candle in neroli and lemongrass – I didn’t love the scent of this as much as I expected, and unfortunately, it did not burn very evenly. Value = $34

Commodity oolong candle* – I’ve read some really mixed reviews about Commodity candles but here’s my take on the only one I’ve tried: this smells great and the scent throw is large, particularly whenΒ not being burned, interestingly. But this tunneled and smoked. Such a shame. I’ve heard others say their full sized Oolong and Book candles had similar issues. I’ve also heard people say the smaller candles in the 3×3 Exploration set burn pretty well. I don’t know why there would be a difference in sizes, but there you are… Value = $55

*Gifted by the brand

Total value for July = $536.94!

(None of the links are affiliate links, they are merely for your convenience in finding the products.)

Thanks for reading!

 

Battle of the Rose Face Mists: Herbivore, Pixi, and Trader Joe’s

I love a good rose face mist πŸ™‚ It seems like every brand has one these days so I thought it might be helpful to compare three in my stash from Herbivore Botanicals, Pixi Beauty, and Trader Joe’s.

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The Trader Joe’s option is clearly the best bang for your buck: $3.99 for 4 oz/118 mL! I like that this is in a plastic bottle, which is handy for travel, although too large for an airplane carry-on.

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The full ingredients are: Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Witch Hazel Leaf Water, Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Fragrance.

I like that this one includes rose flower water, rose flower oil, and witch hazel, although it does include artificial fragrance. This one smells the strongest of the three. It has a really nice, even mist that sprays enough to make you feel like something happened but not so much that it would ruin your makeup. It’s pretty hard to beat this budget option!

Next up, a new addition from Pixi Beauty: Rose Glow Mist, which retails for $15 for 2.7 oz/80 mL from Pixi or Target. So although the bottles appear to be about the same size, you’re getting considerably more product from the Trader Joe’s option.

This packaging was very difficult to photograph!

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The Pixi option has 7 oils in it to give you a “glow” so if you have oily skin, you may not love this one. You need to give it a good shake before you spray to redistribute everything.

The full ingredients are damn near impossible to read on the packaging but Pixi’s website has the full list: Water, Olive Fruit Oil, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, 1.2-Hexanediol, Safflower Seed Oil, Betaine, Avocado Oil, Anise Fruit Extract, Trehalose, Panthenol, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Achillea Millefollum Extract, Viola Mandshurica Flower Extract, Hibiscus Esculentus Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Vegetable Oil, Cananga, Odorata Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Bergamot Peel Oil, Propylene Glycol, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Tocopherol.

This one doesn’t particularly smell like rose, probably because there’s so much other stuff in it and the rose flower oil is at the bottom of the INCI list. It’s nourishing because of all the oils in it so I think I’ll reach for it more in the winter.

You may recall that I complained in this Empties post that the mister on the Pixi vitamin makeup mist was lousy. I’m pleased to report that the packaging on this mist is much improved and the mist sprays evenly. I don’t feel any residue the way I did with the vitamin wakeup mist, either.

Lastly, we have the Herbivore Botanicals rose hibiscus coconut water hydrating face mist, which is available loads of places including Herbivore and Sephora. This one retails for $32 for 4 oz/120 mL so it is, by far, the most expensive choice.

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Herbivore is a well-known “green” beauty brand, if that’s something you’re looking for. I must admit, I love the minimalistic packaging and beautiful glass bottle. This, too, has a nice, even mist and easy to use spray. This is the “wettest” of the three mists, but I would still apply it over makeup without worrying about disrupting my makeup. I don’t necessarily find this one to be more hydrating long-term; it’s more about how it feels when I first apply it since I tend to rely on mists for a quick boost.

The full INCI list: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Rose Damascena Flower Water, Witch Hazel Flower Water, Leucidal Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Coconut Water, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract (Neer Sikkappu Red)

The Herbivore ingredients are a lot like the Trader Joe’s list, and those two mists smell and feel much more similar than the Pixi option. Unless you’re a real purist about green beauty and do not want any fragrance in your products, I would suggest you save your pennies and head to Trader Joe’s (or find a friend to do it for you if you don’t live near one!).

As an added bonus, all three of these brands are cruelty free!

Let me know if you’ve given any of these a try, or if you have another rose face mist that you love! πŸ™‚

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(None of the links are affiliate links; they’re simply used for your convenience. I purchased all of these products myself.)