Sunday, December 9, 2012

Empties and Stuff

I have a huge backlog of products I need to talk to you about, but I'm a little overwhelmed and don't know where to start, so instead, I'm opening with an empties post! Though it's more accurately an "empties and stuff I didn't like enough to put up with" post. Also, I just realized there were a couple other sample packets I finished and didn't photograph. WHOOPS.

But anyways! Here is a real post! About beauty! With pictures! Aaaaah, it's good to be back.

Skincare Samples
Clockwise from top left:
Biotherm Skinergetic High Recovery Moisturizer: The lovely Liz sent this to me, and I used it when my skin was being dry and grouchy*. Didn't break me out, was nicely moisturizing, not too thick, nothing remarkable.
Eve Lom Moisture Mask: I've already written about how much I liked this. While the packet is empty, I still have some mask left in a jar which I will happily use until it's gone.
Eve Lom Cleanser: This packet's not actually empty, because I decided it was too much effort to try and wash my face the Eve Lom way so I didn't bother finishing it.
Eve Lom Intense Hydration Serum: Nope nope nope. It's almost empty, because the packet was really small, but I didn't bother to use up the last little bit because I so disliked it.
L'Occitane Ultra Rich Face Scrub: Another Liz gift! I really liked this and found it to be just what it claimed, a richly moisturizing face scrub. Excellent for dry skin.
Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Pac mask: Got this and another MJ mask for 2/$3 at Walgreens. It was fine, though the packet contained way more than 1 use's worth, but as it was a tear-open foil thingy, I couldn't use it more than the one time. Probably wouldn't buy again, but I guess it was fun to try.
*My skin has become dry and grouchy and absolutely horrible these past couple weeks, due to the perfect storm of bad skin influences––changing birth control, stress of finals, the fact that I touch my face a lot when I'm stressed, trying out a new foundation––and I've been desperately seeking ways to fix the rash, dry skin, zits, and cystic acne that's been plaguing me. YES ALL AT ONCE. Ugh. I'll have a post about that at some point, assuming I ever figure out what the heck fixes it.

Hand Stuff
Clockwise from top left:
Pacifica Spanish Amber bar soap: So, yeah, I really like most of the Pacifica stuff I've tried, and their Tibetan Mountain Temple and Persian Rose soaps smelled great until the very end, but this one stopped smelling like anything after a few weeks. I decided it wasn't worth keeping it around––I get such pleasure from scented products, and why would I want to waste that potential on something that smells like nothing? (I'm a terrible emptier, clearly.)
Hoofer's Choice cuticle cream: Oh my God, I've had this for so long. I used this, on average, 3 or 4 times a week, and found that it really did make a difference in the health of my cuticles, cutting down on hangnails and roughness. At $3.50 per tub, which lasted me about a year, I plan to rebuy as soon as I make it over to Sally's again.
L'Occitane Mango hand cream: Another Liz thing! Hurray! I've tried their other hand cream and found it to be fine, but it takes a little too long to soak in for my taste and I found it to be a little sticky (I'm in the minority on that one, though). This, however, was awesome. It smelled quite convincingly of mango, was really richly moisturizing, and I found it to be way less sticky than the original kind. If it weren't so expensive and I didn't have, like, 20 oz of other hand cream to get through, I would consider buying it.

Another Revlon Sugar Plum bites the dust! You can see the packaging got ratty, which was a bummer, but I just love the color (I'm including that tidbit for anyone who hasn't been reading for more than a couple months––I know the rest of you are tired of hearing about it, lolz). I have 2 more to get through, then I think I'll start looking for a replacement with better longevity and less finicky packaging––so, as L said, I'm one of those people who looks for high end dupes of drugstore products. Le sigh.
And I finished up my Revlon Whipped Creme foundation! I found that applying it with a damp brush (Real Techniques Buffing Brush, for me) over Cover FX primer and under Kryolan Anti-Shine powder gave me excellent coverage that lasted alllll day. Unfortunately, it's too pink for me, so I'm not rebuying. Instead, I'm on the search for a new foundation that matches my skin perfectly, and y'all, that is a tale for another time. Let's just say it's not going great.

Bath and Body
From left to right:
Secret Clinical Protection deodorant/antiperspirant: Meh. It was fine, but it didn't keep me sweat- and scent-free all day, so I had to pair it with another deodorant, which was just stupid. But I used it until the end! I'm now using an unscented Suave one, which isn't perfect, but I like that it has no scent, and it was $2.
Suave Keratin Infused Color Care shampoo: Ran out of this a few weeks ago, but was too busy to rebuy it so I had to use my Suave clarifying shampoo instead, which I'm pretty sure made my hair dye fade faster. Finally managed to procure it a couple days ago––smells nice, doesn't strip my hair, wonderfully foamy, etc etc.
Pacifica Waikiki Pikkake body wash: I didn't like this one as much as the California Star Jasmine (which is still my all-time favorite body wash. High praise, I know!), because it wasn't as scented and didn't lather as much, but I still enjoyed using it. Picked up an Aveeno one for cheap recently, but once I run out of that I'll probably return to the "splurge"y Pacifica ones. $10 for 8 oz is steep, but then again, they last about 3 months, so...
Suave Captivating Curls conditioner: I love this stuff, but it's getting hard to find. I think it's still available at Freddy's, but neither one in Eugene is at all close to me, so I really have to go out of my way, and y'all, I do not enjoy that. Even though the boy mocks me endlessly for thinking anything in Eugene is "too far", because apparently, 20 minutes is nothing where he's from (Maryland and Seattle).
Philosophy Holiday Lights Aglow body wash: Holy crap I had this for a long time. It smelled like pine and citrus, so I didn't use it at all during the spring, summer, and early fall, because it just didn't fit. Managed to finish off the last remnants in October, hooray!
I also tried Carol's Daughter Monoi shampoo and conditioner. I really liked the shampoo––it smelled like white floral perfume, guys! Tuberose hair!––but the conditioner was both too slimy and not moisturizing enough, a deadly combo. Used up all the shampoo, chucked the conditioner.

I've caught the candle bug (thanks, everyone––you know who you are), so there'll be more of these in future months. The only one I burnt through completely is Paddywax New York 2 oz travel candle, which I burnt continuously the day before my stats paper was due. It lasted about 12 hours, though I don't remember exactly when it finished; I worked for 13 hours and it was done before I was, but not by much. It smelled like amber and patchouli, which are both smells I enjoy, but it was very, very subtle. It smelled super subtle when sniffed cold, too, so that's not surprising, but I did enjoy how I would catch little whiffs of it every once in awhile. And I definitely noticed that the room smelled nice when I got back from dinner (by which I mean, I went and ate in the kitchen dining area, then went back to the formal dining room because the table there is nice and big and I could spread out like a crazy person). Liz (hahahahaha, I feel like this post should be prefaced with, "Today's post brought to you by Liz, the Reductionista and candle-enabler!") recommended the Tea Leaves & Bergamot candle from the same brand, and since they were having 20% off and free shipping above $30, I was on that like icing on cake.

I ordered some Ecotools brushes when they were 50% off plus free shipping on Cyber Monday, and went through my brush collection and got rid of (by which I mean, added to my pile of stuff to donate) the ones I don't want anymore. Just another reason to update my brush post this break...
Left to right:
ELF Studio Complexion brush (have had this for close to 3 years, and it still works fine, I just wanted something softer because I'm a picky princess, apparently)
Loew Cornell Maxine's Mop 3/8"paint brush (scratchy scratchy scratchy!)
ELF Studio Powder brush (this has lasted me a few years, too, but the hairs were starting to come out and it's getting a little scratchy)
Ecotools concealer brush (I have 2, and really only need 1––I loooove this brush, though, and highly recommend it if you're looking for a large concealer brush!)
Target Studio Tools Foundation brush (foundation brushes baffle me, which I discovered after purchasing this one. Every time I've tried to use it with foundation it's been streaky and messy and uneven and just bleh. I much prefer flat-topped brushes for foundation application)

Makeup rejects
Both of these were rejected after my month of lippies, the Revlon Red Velvet because it's too creamy for how pigmented it is (applies unevenly) and the Tarte Glitzy because it is gritty. Still looking for a lipstick that's the same shade as Red Velvet (cool, darkish red cream), though I suspect NARS Mascate may be just the ticket.

Perfume rejects
Lotsa samples!
Top to bottom:
Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb: The male counterpart to Flowerbomb, which I really liked at one point (haven't smelled it since becoming perfume-obsessed, so not sure how I feel about it now). Smelled like apple pie, which was pleasant enough, just...I don't want to smell that strongly of apple pie. I prefer my real foodie scents to be in candle form.
Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One: The One was another one I liked years ago, but I've never clicked with Rose The One. Has that synthetic screechy rose that just itches my nose.
Hanae Mori (Butterfly) edt: Berries and vanilla. Not my thing, but much less irritating than others of the genre.
Emilio Pucci Acqua: Meh, bland and generic aquatic fragrance. Haven't smelled it recently, don't know where it falls on the boring-to-offensive scale.
Dior Miss Dior Cherie l'eau: Fruity floral lite. I don't remember much about it, but I do remember it was nowhere near interesting enough to keep my interest. Ah well.
Boyfriend: Too sweet on me.
DKNY Boarding Pass: I wore all 4 of these one night, sprayed in different places on my arms. The original is a nice fruity apple that doesn't get on my nerves, but none of the others (New York, Paris, and...Singapore, maybe? Rio) were interesting enough to make any impression. I think I really disliked London, but again, I don't really remember.

So that's that! I need to go through my polish collection again and clean it out, though I like having oodles of shades for polish jewelry so I probably won't cut it down too much. I'll have lots of posts coming your way the next couple weeks, because I am one of those bloggers that does not post at consistent rates, so hopefully that's not an issue for anyone! And hopefully you won't get tired of my ramblings...but we'll see!

What products did you finish recently(ish)? Do you have any favorite candles?
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