Empties: October to December 2016

Posted on December 02, 2016 under Empties

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I would have liked to post this closer to the end of the year, but this is all I have prepared for publication so we’ll have to hope I don’t finish anything else up in December. (I know I can just add it to my next empties post, but I like the idea of confining my 2016 garbage to 2016, you know?)

Skincare

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Marina Miracle Sweet and Creamy Oil Cleanser (press sample): I loved this cleanser. It was extremely effective but very hydrating. I loved that it was a creamy texture but emulsified to a more oil-like state. This was one of my top products of 2015 and I loved it until the bitter end. If you’re into natural products and supporting small businesses, I’d highly recommend this Norwegian brand. (They ship worldwide!)

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil: This is an old standby; I’m on my third bottle of it now. Although there are three different oil cleansers featured in this post, I do get use out of a good gel cleanser too – but this oil one is my go-to in the cooler months when my skin is determined to expel all moisture.

A-Derma Exomega Cleansing Oil: I received this product at an A-Derma training and I do like it. It’s a thinner, runnier oil than The Body Shop one. I used it as an in-shower face oil so it’s hard to compare its efficacy to the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (which I used to melt off my makeup), but I did enjoy using it. I have another bottle that I’ll use up as well.

Vichy Aqualia Thermale Dynamic Hydration Power Serum: I really liked this. It sinks in fast and did make a noticeable difference when it comes to keeping my skin hydrated. I’m using a La Roche-Posay serum right now and I 100% prefer the Vichy.

No7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream: I got this hoping it would replace my Boots Botanics Replenishing Night Cream, but it wasn’t the same at all. There was nothing truly wrong with it, it just wasn’t anything special. It did a pretty good job of hydrating overnight, but it never sunk in fully. Now I’m using a combination of oils and my Origins Drink Up! Overnight Moisture Mask and that’s suiting me a lot better.

Bath and Body

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L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil: I LOVE this stuff and I still have a litre and a half of backups to get through. I feel slightly bougie buying expensive oil to use in the shower, but it seriously makes my skin so soft and smooth. This has completely replaced shaving cream for me. I can’t praise it enough – it even made it into my 2015 favourites!

L’Occitane Supple Skin Almond Oil: This sample came with a gift set of the Shower Oil that my friend got me for Christmas last year. The small sample lasted me quite a long time when I started using it because a little goes a long way. I love a good body oil for my arms and legs, and this stuff was great. The full size is too expensive for my budget, but I’d totally use a sample up again!

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter: A winter standby! You can fully expect to see more of these in future empties posts because I go through them super quickly. I used this one up just a few weeks ago and you can already see the bottom of the tub of my replacement.

Haircare

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Light Blue Shade Original Shampoo: I started using this in May and I’ve already gone through 2 half-litre bottles. (Well, I share them with my mom, but I use way more than she does because I have a lot more hair.) It’s just the best purple shampoo. Of course, I’ve already cracked open a new bottle.

Marc Anthony Hydrating Coconut Oil and Shea Butter Deep Nourishing Conditioning Treatment: I use a deep conditioner every time I wash my ultra-damaged hair, but this is my once-a-week, heavy duty option. The coconut oil helps restore the protein in my damaged hair, and always leaves it especially soft and smooth. It’s kind of annoying that you can only buy this product in the little packets, but one packet lasts me several months so it’s not the end of the world.

Makeup

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L’Oréal True Match Super Blendable Concealer in C1-2-3: This had a slightly salmon tone that made it great for my undereyes – it cancelled out darkness without feeling thick and heavy. Ultimately I moved on to my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, but I’d totally go back to the L’Oréal as a budget option.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation in R210: I really did enjoy this foundation and included it in my summer favourites. I liked that it had a thin, lightweight texture and medium coverage. In the end, when comparing it to my Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation and NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, it’s just not as long-lasting, which is something I look for as a retail worker. This foundation may be a repurchase when I’m a student again and not putting my face through so much exertion, because I liked it otherwise.

Miscellaneous

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Sally Hansen Maximum Strength Polish Remover: This was a nail polish remover. It removed my nail polish. Yay!

And that, my friends, is all of the garbage I have been holding onto for the past few months. Stay tuned to find out what garbage 2017 will bring!

Empties: July to October 2016

Posted on October 12, 2016 under Empties

This is my hundredth post, and also just about the two-year anniversary of this blog. (I’m early by about a week, but oh well.) On this occasion I have another instalment of empties, brought to you by an overflowing box that I am eager to dump out. I’ll probably do one last empties post before the end of the year, but as we all know, I space them out rather sporadically so I can’t promise a thing.

As always, anything I received for free through work is indicated with an asterisk.

Haircare

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L’Oreal Colour Radiance Protective Mask: Man, are you tired of seeing these yet? Me too. Luckily this is the last of my neverending stash of these. I did really like this product for quite awhile there, but now that my hair is nearing three years of bleaching it’s not quite as effective as some other things. Great for dry but not terribly damaged hair, though.

Marc Anthony Nourishing Oil of Morocco Deep Hydrating Conditioning Treatment: Now that’s a name! I really liked this product and I’ll probably add another packet into my rotation when I’ve made my way through some of the deep conditioners I already have. I wish they sold a full-sized version of this (rather than just a regular conditioner), but I don’t mind buying smaller packets of deep conditioner as I can stretch them for a long time and it allows me to switch things up regularly.

Light Blue Shade Original Shampoo: I love this purple shampoo. It really helps with the labour-intensive upkeep required to be a platinum blonde, and works better at cutting brassiness and maintaining platinum better than anything else I’ve tried. (And I’ve tried a lot of things!)

Hi-Test 30 Volume Developer: I have never found a particular developer to be any better or worse than all the others. I currently have ten half-used bottles because for some reason I went through two years of selective amnesia surrounding purchasing developer, so it is notable that I actually finished one.

Skincare

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Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover: I used up two of the deluxe sample sizes of this product. As established several times on my blog, I think it’s incredibly effective but also overpriced. Luckily, I have discovered an alternative for half the price, which you will be seeing on this blog very soon!

Avène Hydrance Optimale Légère*: I felt pretty meh about this moisturizer, to be honest. It was a pretty thin texture, which was okay for summer, but I still prefer a thicker moisturizer. It’s not that it did a bad job or irritated my skin, but I just really like the feeling of a thick cream (that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin).

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60*: Good stuff, people!

Bath & Body

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Freeman Pomegranate Body Sugar Scrub: A Clementine classic! I like this stuff a lot. It works and it’s cheap and cheerful.

A-Derma Exomega DEFI Emollient Balm*: I attended an A-Derma event in May for work and received a big swag bag. This is the only product I’ve gone through so far, and I must say I really liked it. It’s on par with the La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+ Baume for me in terms of effective but gentle body creams for my dry, KP-ravaged limbs.

Makeup

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Clarins Truly Waterpoof Mascara: Definitely one of the best mascaras I’ve ever tried. I’d use Optimum Points to buy this again, for sure. It made my lashes look incredibly long, and it lived up to the waterproof claim. (Something to keep in mind if you’re one of the many people out there who does not enjoy removing waterproof makeup!)

Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara: This mascara was such a letdown. I generally really like Lancôme mascaras, and the packaging is so beautiful that it totally sucked me in. But when my work friend gifted this to me and I actually tried it, I was disappointed! It’s more of a volumizing mascara (my preference is for length), but I find that it looks clumpy quite easily. It’s not unusable by any means, but I wouldn’t repurchase this at a drugstore price, let alone for the $35 Lancôme is charging!

NARS Illuminator in Copacabana: I got this sample of Copacabana with a purchase I made on r/makeupexchange and it lasted me a very long time. (You can see there’s still product in there, but I left it unsealed and it dried up.) I loved this very shiny pink-toned highlight a lot. I’m loathe to purchase the full-size because, seriously, that is way more product than I could ever reasonably need, and I already have five highlighters, which I feel is more than enough for me. But maybe one day if I ever make a dent in my highlighter stash!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer: I’ve tried several samples of this and it’s always left me feeling disappointed. For all the hype it receives I don’t feel that it does anything for the longevity of my foundation – and, yes, I’m testing it with silicone-based products. I’ve used this with at least three foundations with the same underwhelming results each time.

Dior Forever & Ever Wear Extreme Perfection and Hold Makeup Base: This was miraculous with my Rimmel Lasting Finish 25H Foundation. I never felt that that foundation went on well with a damp sponge until I used it on top of this primer – it looked glorious. And it really did hold it in place all day. I didn’t find it did much for my MUFE Ultra HD, which is ultimately what held me off from purchasing the full size for an admittedly absurd price. I’m still on the hunt for a primer that works well for me, and I’m growing increasingly skeptical that any of them actually do anything.

And that concludes this instalment of “Pictures of My Garbage”!

Empties: May to July 2016

Posted on July 12, 2016 under Empties

Wow, time flies when you decide to rewatch the entire 202-episode series of The X-Files, eh? (A side effect of this is being very into matte brown eyeshadow and mauve lipstick. Dana Scully is an inspiration in so many ways…) I was getting so caught up in government conspiracies that I almost forgot I even had a blog! Today I have for you another randomly spaced-out installment of empties.

There are no press samples included in this batch, so anything marked with an asterisk was received for free through work.

Skincare

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Jouviance Micellar Solution*: This was okay: it was pretty effective but maybe a bit more drying than the La Roche-Posay one, which so far is my favourite. Would not pay actual money for this, but if I got it through work again I’d use it up.

Lancôme Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover: This is the best eye makeup remover I’ve ever used, including in comparison to other biphase products. Lately I’ve been using Clarins Truly Waterproof mascara, which lives up to its name, and Bi-Facil can handle that. I’m very sad that this is gone because $36 for an eye makeup remover is unjustifiable. Normally I just live off the sample/GWP sizes, which I do have two of. When they’re gone I will have to have a serious conversation with myself about whether dropping 3 hours worth of wages on eye makeup remover is an option.

La Roche Posay Toleriane Riche Soothing Protecting Cream*: This is a great thick moisturizer for dry skin. I was mostly using it throughout the winter, but even in April and May it wasn’t too bad – it sinks in quite quickly, though it certainly wouldn’t be suited to oily skin. My line of work means I haven’t purchased moisturizer in two years, but theoretically I would buy this.

Reversa Eye Care Anti-Puff and Dark Circles*: This kept my undereyes moisturized but did nothing for my hereditary dark circles. I didn’t expect anything else, so I wasn’t disappointed.

Haircare

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Standard for me: John Frieda Colour Renew Tone-Correcting Shampoo and L’Oreal Color Radiance Protecting Mask. The John Frieda blonde shampoos are continual repurchases for me because I find them effective for the price point. I do like the L’Oreal mask, still (I’m just finishing up my fifth or sixth tub of it), but I probably won’t be repurchasing now because I’ve found things that work even better.

Makeup

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Rimmel Stay Matte Powder: This isn’t technically empty, but at some point it becomes a quality of life thing, you know? Scraping powder from the edges of the pan is just not worth it. I have repurchased this one, because it worked well for me and I see no point in spending more than $8 on a powder.

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation: Technically I didn’t quite finish this one either – there are maybe three or four more uses in the bottle. But I left it out in the sun and now it smells like cat pee, so it must go. I did like this product, but I’m more into a lighter coverage and thinner consistency for the summer (and maybe in general). Definitely a great budget option for the four skin tones Rimmel makes products for.

Rimmel Brow This Way Eyebrow Gel in Clear: I liked this slightly better than the Essence one because it wasn’t quite so wet and sloppy, but I also felt like I used it up really quickly. Plus, it’s considerably pricier than the Essence one, and I’m just not willing to pay $7 more for less wet brow gel. So back to the Essence it is!

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: Standard. I have completely lost track of what number I’m on now. At least my fifth, maybe more. Since I discovered it about three years ago I have not looked back!

Miscellaneous

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3 year old $3 eyelash curler from Walmart: I thought this was doing the trick until I got Tweezerman curlers. Now I see what I have been missing out on!

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Pacific Blue: My original bottle of Pacific Blue! I could probably add some thinner to get more wear out of this, and I just might, because I only have two backup bottles and then I will be forever without my favourite nail polish in the world. Still not ready to forgive Sally for this cruelty.

… And that is it! Hopefully you will hear something from me in fewer than 12 days, but I can’t promise anything when I still have 182 episodes left to watch.