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!
I’ll break things down into Skincare, Makeup, Bodycare, Haircare, and Candles.
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 remover – 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.
Wycon sublime mascara 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 😉 Value = $21
Tatcha the silk canvas primer – I 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 did 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
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. 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:
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 🙂 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 🙂 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
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.
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 😉 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 🙂 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 😉 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 when 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!