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.

Empties: February to April 2016

Posted on April 29, 2016 under Empties

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Wow, it’s only been three months since my last empties post! That’s pretty good for me. So, blah blah, I used some stuff up and I just moved back to Toronto so I took pictures of all this stuff and then threw it out before I left Montreal. YOU KNOW THE DRILL.

Skincare

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Vichy Pureté Thermale Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover: I desperately wanted this to be as good as the Lancôme Bi-Facil for a much more reasonable price, but it just wasn’t. I mean, it was okay, but it didn’t do super well with my Stila eyeliner. I imagine it would not be very effective at taking off waterproof mascara, not that I ever let waterproof mascara touch my eyelashes. Still haven’t decided if I can justify actually spending $36 on the Bi-Facil, though – I’ll probably pick it up with Optimum points next time.

La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution: This is honestly my favourite micellar solution. It does a really good job without ever stripping the skin. This size bottle is pretty bad value ounce per ounce compared to other brands (I got this particular one free through work), but when they have the double sized bottle for the same price I snap it up.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner: I used to really love this toner for some added hydration, but I’ve made a lot of changes in my skincare routine that makes this unnecessary for me currently.

Bio Beauté Gentle Comfort Exfoliant With Red Berries: I didn’t feel that this was a particularly effective physical exfoliant. I honestly prefer just using my Sephora Precision Pore Cleansing Pad with my cleanser a few times a week. But then, my skin does better with a good AHA than with physical exfoliation anyway!

Bath and Body

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L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate: This cream is a really great experience. It smells incredible and it has a light, almost whipped texture which I really enjoyed. It definitely was not enough for my legs in the dead of winter.

Freeman Pomegranate Body Sugar Scrub: I use these up a lot. I like the product. I think I’ve exhausted my supply, though. I will repurchase if I can find it!

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+*: Clearly I loved this, because I cut it open and scraped out every last bit of product. This worked wonders for my legs, which suffer from a moderate to severe case of keratosis pilaris. It didn’t cut down on the pigmentation of the KP, but it made my legs feel very smooth and soft without being laden with heavy product. Would most likely repurchase, though I currently have a large backlog of body moisturizers that I’m trying to get through!

Haircare

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John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Conditioner: I’ve used this up a lot of times and I’ve already repurchased it (and the shampoo). I really do notice a difference when I don’t use it. Because my hair is a very light blonde, it tends to go green rather than brassy, and this fights that really well.

L’Oreal EverPure Colour Care System Moisture Shampoo: I think my pink hair faded quickly due to the fact that Manic Panic sucks, but I don’t feel like this particularly helped maintain the colour. It wasn’t super moisturizing, either, but my hair needs a lot more help than the average human’s. Definitely won’t repurchase this one.

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Shampoo (sample): This is a pretty nice and extremely cheap moisturizing shampoo. It doesn’t blow me away (and I prefer to use blonde shampoo anyway!), but it’s decent for travel.

Ice Cream Dry-T Mask: So, I liked this a lot when I first got it and I still do. But I’ve come to the conclusion that my hair gets used to masks if I use them for more than about six months, so my second tub of this stuff did less for my hair than the first. I’ll probably repurchase this, but I’ll rotate it with at least one other mask.

Marc Anthony Hydrating Coconut Oil and Shea Butter Deep Nourishing Conditioning Treatment (sample): What a name! I actually loved this stuff – I wanted to try a treatment with protein but knew I was moving soon and didn’t want to commit to lugging a big tub of something back with me, so I bought this little sample packet. My hair hasn’t been in such good condition in ages! I probably won’t purchase the full size since I’m guessing pure coconut oil would do the same thing. Either way, I’m definitely sold!

Makeup

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Maybelline Color Tattoo in Edgy Emerald: Not empty. Not even close! It just dried up. But I got it for $2.50 at Jean Coutu in 2013 and it got me through a few St. Patrick’s Days, so it’s all good.

Essence Lash & Brow Gel Mascara: This was pretty good for a $2.99 brow gel. Sometimes the wand deposited a bit too much product, leaving my eyebrows looking shiny, but I didn’t mind wiping it off with my finger. I mean, it’s $2.99. I didn’t repurchase it because there was no Essence at my local Pharmaprix, but I’d definitely consider buying it again. Brow gel is such an unbelievably boring product that I have no intention of ever spending more than about $5 on it.

OCC Lip Tar in Hoochie: Again, his is not actually empty; I cannot imagine ever actually finishing up a Lip Tar. This just went bad, separating and becoming impossible to apply. I’m very sad, because I absolutely adored the colour. I’ve been hunting for a dupe without success. I’d consider repurchasing Hoochie, but it’s kind of a hassle since OCC isn’t at Sephora anymore. And I do feel like this went bad kind of quickly, to be honest.

Miscellaneous

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Sally Hansen Moisturizing Fast and Gentle Nail Polish Remover: Ugh, I need to stop going for gentle nail polish remover. It never works as well. Bring on the chemicals!

I’m going to keep pushing to use up skincare and body products, because I have a lot of those and nobody needs as much of it as I have. Until next time!