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Monday, September 29, 2014

EMPTIES┊August & September 2014 ♡

I didn't post an August empties so I decided to combine two months' worth of empty products. There's a lot of items to go through so I'll cut to the chase now! I mis-numbered the items so I actually have 16 products, not 17 but just ignore that little flub ^_^

empties, review, pssst! Dry shampoo, tory burch fragrance, versace yellow diamond perfume
 1. Crest 3D White Luxe Anti-Cavity Toothpaste -- A basic product. Not much to say other than it keeps me from getting yellow teeth. I have never gone for professional whitening but I do notice a difference when I use this versus a different brand. I drink a lot of coffee and tea so whitening products are a necessity for me. I don't know why I wrote Radiant White but it's actually Glamorous White. I think I got it confused with Radiant Mint but meh, I'm sick so my brain isn't making much sense lately. All of these different flavors basically taste and smell the same: minty fresh. Bottom Line: Would repurchase!

2. Tory Burch by Tory Burch -- I usually try to pick up a couple of perfume samples before I pick up the full size. So far, I haven't really liked any scent enough to purchase the full size other than Fame by Lady Gaga. This one is citrusy without being too citrusy, if that makes sense. I prefer fruity-citrusy-floral scents that are lighter and fresh but don't actually smell like something one can pinpoint. It's pretty complicated which is why I don't have a signature scent as of now. Here are the notes for a more specific description: Neroli, Grapefruit, Cassis, Bergamot, Peony, Tuberose, Jasmine Sambac, Vetiver, and Sandalwood. Bottom Line: Would repurchase but maybe in the rollerball version for easy touch ups. 

3. Yellow Diamond by Versace -- This one is a good scent as well. It's light, floral, and fresh, perfect for daytime. It lasted well on my skin--about 6 hours. The specific notes are Citron from Diamante, Pear Sorbet, Neroli, Bergamot, Nymphea, Freesia, Orange Blossom, Mimosa, Amber Wood, Palo Santo, and Musk. Bottom Line: Would repurchase but in rollerball version.

4. Psssst! Instant Dry Shampoo --  I'm a fiend for dry shampoo because my fine hair gets oily so quickly. On days I don't have time to shower in the mornings or after the gym, this absorbs the oil until I can reach a shower. It doesn't really do any volumizing. There is a white cast on my dark brown hair if I spray too much but a quick finger combing gets all of that to disappear. There is a scent but I can't really pinpoint it. However, the fragrance on this is a lot lighter than the Batiste, which is my all-time favorite. It lasted a really long time--about 3 months or more. My hair was oil-free for about 4 hours or so. I could still comb my fingers through my hair and it looked natural, not ashy. Bottom Line: I wouldn't repurchase as I'm still looking for an unscented one. Might have to give the Lush one a try.
empties, goldbond ultimate, dry skin, simple pleasures, shower gel, review
 5. Goldbond Ultimate Skin Therapy Lotion Healing with Aloe -- This is probably my second or third bottle of this lotion! I have really dry skin so I need something with heavy duty moisturizing benefits to really get in there and hydrate. I don't like body butters as they make my skin feel really oily and greasy. This is quite heavy but absorbs quickly considering its texture. The fresh scent also lightly scents my skin but doesn't linger around for long.I like that it comes in a pump because it's easy to dispense. The only issue is that when the bottle comes to it's last third or so, it gets really hard to pump out product. I end up cutting the bottle in half and scraping out the remaining lotion into a travel squeeze tube, but it's not a major issue considering how well it moisturizes. My skin is a bit better in the summer so I only use it on my feet but when the dry winter comes, I'll be purchasing another to keep the flakey and itchy skin at bay. Bottom Line: I would definitely repurchase!

6. Simple Pleasure Shower Gel in Blooming Tulip -- When the bottle was full, the gel was a pretty turquoise color. I didn't know tulips had a scent but this shower gel reminded me of the hair gel at the barber shop. Either way, the scent was okay but it didn't linger on my skin for long. When they say gel, they really do mean gel--it came out in clumps and lathered well. I found myself using more of it than my other body washes and shower gels; I used the 4 fl oz up in about 8-10 showers. It doesn't contain SLS but it does have SLES, fragrances and dyes. Bottom Line: Would not repurchase.

7. Simple Pleasures Shower Gel in Lilac & Freesia -- I liked this scent even though it reminded me of the air freshener my mom used in our bathroom back home. Same as the Blooming Tulip other than scent and color. I think this lathered better than the Blooming Tulip but that might just be because I used more. I forgot to mention it but I got this in a set of 7 from Ross last Christmas thinking that I would use it to make gift baskets but I had these left over. Decided to pull them out and use them now instead of buying more shower gel for myself. You'll probably be seeing the rest over the next couple of weeks since I use them up so quickly. At least they don't dry out my skin like the Bath & Body Works ones did. Bottom Line: Would not repurchase.

empties, reviews, the body shop mattifying moisture lotion, paula's choice pore normalizing cleanser, paula's choice anti-redness solution, exfoliator, cleanser, normal to combination skin, H2O+ Deep sleep recovery cream
 9. The Body Shop Mattifying Moisture Lotion SPF 15 --  "mattifying" and "moisture" seem to negate each other and this product is a bit of a contradiction. It does help control oil for those with slightly oily skin. However, I don't think this would do much on someone with really oily skin. If you have normal skin that gets a bit shiny after about  hours outside, this might help keep you shine free for another hour or two (assuming you don't use anything else but this). Wouldn't recommend this to dry skin people--not moisturizing enough. I do have a review of it on the blog. Bottom Line: Would not repurchase.

10. Paula's Choice Pore Normalizing Cleanser -- So this month has been an overload of PC products but I swear, this will be one of the last times I talk about this cleanser. It's really good at removing makeup and oil without drying out my skin. It is unscented and colorless, great for blemish-prone skin. Triclosan is one of the ingredients which is a dealbreaker for me. I don't know if it actually normalizes my pores but while I was using this in conjunction with the PC Anti-Redness Solution I'm going to talk about and the Daily Clearing Treatment, I did notice a reduction in my pore size. An overall, great cleanser. Bottom Line: Would not repurchase but I recommend it to those who don't have an issue with triclosan!

11. H2O+ Deep Sleep Recovery Cream* -- I have a review of it on the blog already so I won't go into much detail. Not much has changed since that review. It didn't moisturize my skin as well as I would've liked on its own--definitely needs a facial oil or moisturizing toner to help it along. It had a light scent that didn't irritate my skin or my nose. I didn't notice any lift or whatever, not that my skin needed it. Maybe I need the full size but too expensive for what it is, IMO. Still haven't found a HG night cream but I will continue to search for one! Bottom Line:  Will not be buying the full size.

12. Paula's Choice Anti-Redness Solution -- This has worked wonders for my skin! I noticed an overall evenness in skin texture and a radiance that no highlighter can recreate. I swear, my skin felt perfect and I would have gone without foundation if I didn't have a ton of hyperpigmentation marks on my cheeks and chin. My foundation glided on beautifully without a hitch and I didn't need as much as I used to use. I'm trying to use other stuff at the moment and my skin has gone back to having little bumps on my chin and cheeks--really sad. I wasn't going to repurchase this but PC was having a 20% off sale and I couldn't resist, especially since my skin has reverted back to it's pre-PC state of little bumps. Definitely a holy grail product that I now know my skin can't live without! One caveat: if you are allergic to salicylic acid or any its derivatives (ie. aspirin), don't use itBottom Line: Have already repurchased and will continue to do so until the day they stop making it--hopefully never!

empties, reviews, it's skin cleansing oil in brightening, neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover, cvs makeup remover cleansing cloth towelettes, makeup forever aqua eyes 0L, nyx hot singles eyeshadow psychedelic, makeup remover

13. It's Skin Cleansing Oil in Brightening -- I didn't want to shell out the big bucks for the famous Shu Uemura one so I decided to pick this up after seeing it on Get It Beauty, a Korean beauty show. There were three formulas for different skin types and this one was made for combination skin. It did a good job of removing my face makeup, eyeshadow, and lip products. This didn't remove waterproof mascara and eyeliner as well as I would've hoped but I usually use a separate eye makeup remover anyway. In a pinch, this would do the job but if you want less tugging and a more thorough cleanse, use a separate remover for best results. Keep in mind that your vision might be a little blurry if you use this near your eyes but you will regain normal vision after a couple of seconds. The pump is really good at dispensing product--3 pumps was enough to remove everything. It even reached all the way to the bottom so I didn't have to find a separate bottle to use it all up. Bottom Line: I would not repurchase. I want to try others and see if I can find one that can do it all!

14. Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover -- I'm not much of a loyal buyer kind of person. I switch it up quite often, trying to find the best products but this is the one product I find myself repurchasing over and over. My mom is the one who got me hooked on this product and I've been buying bottles of this for 6 years now. When they made it in a larger size, I was over the moon! It does leave an oily residue but it doesn't make my vision blurry or irritate my eyes. Bottom Line: Will definitely repurchase!

15. CVS Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloth Towelettes -- Quite a mouthful, that name. It does an okay job of removing makeup. Makeup wipes don't do as good of a job of removing all my makeup as a cleansing oil does but if if too tired or lazy, they will do. It isn't saturated with product as I would like. It has a calming scent but isn't heavily fragranced like the Ponds. I got this a 3-pack and am on the last legs of the second one. Bottom Line: Would repurchase if they're on sale.

16. Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 0L matte black -- This one has a sad story. The lid cracked somehow when I had this on my travel bag so the pencil dried up. I've had other pencils where the lid cracked but didn't have a problem with them drying out. This one definitely requires an airtight cap. I'm going to be more careful with my other Aqua Eyes pencil after this. You were a good pencil, Aqua Eyes. Tightlining my eyes never looked good without you. Bottom Line: I have two other pencils in this shade so will not immediately repurchase. 

17. NYX Hot Singles Eyeshadow in Psychedelic -- Green eyeshadow is not my thing when it comes to eyes but it's perfect for color correcting my foundation. Buying foundation from the drugstore, I cannot test the color beforehand. Instead of returning a used product, I decided to make it work by adding a matte yellow green powder to correct the pink undertone. I have a whole step by step tutorial on how I do this right here on the blog so check it out if you have the same problem! Bottom Line: I would repurchase but I think I'm going to try using green primers to see how that works. 

18. Studio 35 Beauty Textured Cotton Rounds --   Not much to say on these. I get these from Walgreens. Each pack contains 80 rounds. Half a round removes eye makeup, while the other half can be used to apply toner. One round completely removes polish from both hands (if I'm wearing glitter polish, it'll take 2 rounds). I like that they're more durable than these other squares I got from Rite Aid. Did I mention that they're 100% pure cotton? Bottom Line: Will continue to repurchase, especially when they come in the 3-pack sale :D

Kind of anti-climatic to end on cotton rounds but I hope you enjoyed this round of empties. I'll try to do them on time next time because there was so many products to talk about this time. October might be a little lacking but we'll see how many products I can squeeze in xD

What products have you used up recently?



DE-STASHING PROJECT┊ ☮ September 2014 ☮

Haven't done one of these since May, but I have since let go of a couple more items, all unopened. My cousin's birthday was this month and since I know she's interested in makeup but doesn't know where to start, I decided to give her some of my back ups since I have way too much to even need back ups. Without further ado, these are the six items that have gone on to happier places:

  • Maybelline the Rocket Mascara in WP -- I've heard really good things about this mascara, which is why I bought in in the first place. The packaging is cute--cobalt blue is one of my favorite colors and paired with the hot pink, it's a color match made in heaven. I gravitate towards WP because my eyelids are quite oily and make my mascara smudge easily. I'll ask her in a week or two to see how she got on with the mascara so I can update y'all :D
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer -- Aside from the crazy long name, this product has really lived up to the hype for me. I have blue-ish tinted ones and they become more pronounced when I lack sleep or when I'm sick. This did a great job of correcting it without leaving me ashy-looking. It's lightweight but packs a good amount of pigment. One caveat to this is that my dark circles aren't that severe so I don't know how it would perform for someone with serious circles. I do have to set it or it will crease throughout the day but if I moisturize really well before, I won't have the creasing issues. I like it a lot since it covers and brightens my undereye areas but can also be used around my nose to cover redness. It's important to know what color your undereye circles lean to get the appropriate corrector to neutralize the color. 
  • Josie Maran Argan Oil -- I got this a couple years back when my cousin told me it worked wonders at keeping her hair from splitting. At the time, I had really long hair--all the way to the middle of my back-- and I was looking for ways to keep my ends nourished. While this did do a good job of hydrating my hair, it felt really oily on my fine hair. Argan oil is quite versatile and can be used to moisturize everything from head to toe--literally. The one I passed on was a newer one that came in a kit with my Clarisonic. I'm probably going to give this one to my mom as she has trouble keeping her skin moisturized. Argan oil is high in oleic acid, which is good for those with really dry skin. I also have the light version, which I'll be giving a trial of once I run out of my Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil
  • NYX Blotting Paper in Tea Tree -- I bought a ton of these to trial when Ulta was having a 50% sale. Now I don't know if the tea tree oil found in this paper would actually help to control acne but I do know that tea tree oil is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic. I mainly bought it for the cute packaging. There's 100 sheets in every pack but I need at least 2 or 3 each time I blot my face (before I knew that my skin routine was making me oilier than I was, I used up to 5 each time!). Each pack lasts me for about a month and a half, which isn't bad considering it's only $6USD (Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets retail for $4.99 USD for 50 sheets). The best sheets in terms of oil absorbing powers and cost that I've found so far are the Palladio Rice Papers. I only need 1 sheet to blot my entire face or a sheet and a half if I'm reaaaally oily. 
  • LORAC Skinny Palette in Nude -- This sold out so quickly during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale that I wasn't able to get one for myself. I found some on Amazon and grabbed 3. I decided to give one to my cousin because it's really compact but offers 7 neutral colors for every day makeup. It's also budget friendly as it comes out to $15 USD. I know that there's a lot of good drugstore palettes out there but I just love LORAC shadows so much---even the glittery shades don't bother my sensitive eyes! 
  • bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Rebel* -- I'm usually not a fan of lipgloss. I hate the sticky feeling and my hair getting stuck in it. My hair still sticks to this sometimes but it's not as bad. The bubble gum pink color wasn't something that I would've picked for myself but the color definitely grew on me. I received this little tube from an Ulta deal and decided to hoard this color. However, I have so many lip products that giving this away wouldn't matter--I still have a nearly full tube of this color that I got a while back. It's pigmented enough to be worn on its own but can also be layered over other lipsticks for a more opaque finish. No shimmers in this product makes me a happy camper. The scent reminds me of chocolate chip and mint ice cream, my favorite flavor of ice cream for years. The tingly feeling isn't bad but I could do without it. Overall, a good lip gloss for every day :D
And that's a wrap for this post! I know that I mentioned hosting a blog sale soon and I have already taken pictures of everything. Just need to edit them and decide on prices :D 


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Disclosure Statement: All products mentioned were purchased with my own money. I am not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned above and was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. Links are not affiliate links and are provided for the readers' convenience. I cannot guarantee that the product(s) will work for you. I do not approve or endorse the products or information available on these sites. Proceed at your own risk.Products marked with an asterisk (*) were given to me as samples or gifts with purchase.

Monday, September 22, 2014

TIPS┊ My New Skincare Routine for Normal to Combination Skin

With all the skincare posts I've been doing this month, I thought a great way to round up everything is to introduce my skincare routine to y'all so you can see how it all comes together! Now, these are just the bare basics that I use on a (near) daily basis. I forgot to include my facial masks and spot treatments but those change depending on my mood so...that's my excuse for forgetting to photograph them X.X

Anyway, I divided it up into my morning and nighttime routine because there are some changes. I did include a special trio of products that I use when I need to but it'll make more sense when I describe my routine. Just to start off, I have normal to combination skin tone. My skin isn't particularly sensitive--I have only reacted badly to one product in my entire life so yeah, quite resilient. Disclaimer: These are the products that have worked well for me. I cannot promise that you will achieve the same results. Proceed at your own caution.

skincare routine for normal to combination skin
Starting with the morning stuff, I cleanse my face with whatever cleanser I have on hand. I was using the Paula's Choice Pore Normalizing Cleanser for a while but have now switched to the Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash (not pictured). I've only been using it for a week so I can't really speak for its efficacy but so far, nothing bad to report. I will list the stuff I plaster all over my face in the order I uhh...plaster:

MWAH Reads

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