Empties: Summer 2015

Posted on September 06, 2015 under Empties

Before we begin this post, I would like to take a moment to bask in the glory of an experience that will probably cause many people to judge me:

harry

narry

lilo

nilo

The thing is that if you’re not an adult One Direction fan you will never understand how fun a 1D concert is. Like, it’s embarrassing enough to be 21 and at the concert, so you might as well make a fool of yourself, uninhibited, and have the time of your life. And when Harry Styles spits his water out at you and some of it ends up in your mouth (#blessed), you might as well sink to the ground dramatically because it’s all you’ve ever wanted. Same thing when he gets down on his knees right in front of you. Same thing when he wears gold boots. Same thing when he exists in any capacity.

Even more embarrassingly, this is my sixth One Direction concert – I’ve gone to two a year since 2013. Three of them have been on the floor. This show I was second row back from the catwalk, and it was life-affirming. I mean, HARRY SPIT HIS WATER AT ME. (Yes, he’s my favourite. This is just a logical choice to me.)

Now. Onto the content you’re here for.

After 18 months’ absence, I’ve just arrived back in Montreal to finish my degree. (If all goes according to plan I should have my BA in early June!) It seemed ludicrous to haul empties to another city, so I photographed what I used up this summer before I threw them all out the other day.

Products in italics are sample sizes.

Products denoted with an *asterisk* were received for free through work. All opinions are my own and the individual companies were not responsible for me acquiring these products.

empties-summer-body

Body

I have several backups of the Freeman Body Sugar Scrub in Pomegranate because my mom bought them in bulk and then gave them to me, and I will happily use them. It works and it smells good, which is enough for me! Meanwhile, I hated the Palmer’s Cocoa Body Scrub. Anyone who’s been to Primark will know what it’s like to get sucked into hastily throwing something into your basket at the checkout. This was one of those purchases for me: it was only about £3 and was taunting me in that long, winding line. It did a decent job as a physical exfoliant, but I despised the scent. I just cannot stomach the smell of chocolate in my shower. I learned my lesson!

Out of the three Body Shop Body Butters, Mango was my favourite. I’ve repurchased it several times. Strawberry was okay, but the scent was a bit too artificially sweet for my liking. As for the sample of Green Tea I got, I did not like the scent and wouldn’t purchase it.

Skincare

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The Garnier Clean+ Nourishing Cleansing Oil was my first foray into the world of cleansing oils, and I enjoyed it at the time. However, I do prefer the Body Shop’s Camomile cleansing oil, so I won’t repurchase. As for “wouldn’t purchase in the first place”, I’d use Avène Micellar Lotion* if I were to receive it for free through work again, but wouldn’t spend actual money on it. I found it a bit drying compared to the La Roche-Posay micellar solution, which is my current favourite. That said, I currently have two micellar backups (all via work), so I probably wouldn’t buy any at the moment! I adore the Lancôme Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover and I always cry when I run out of my samples of it since I refuse to spend $36 on the full size!

La Roche Posay Toleriane Fluid Soothing Protective Non-Oily Emulsion* wasn’t exactly right for my normal-to-dry skin, but I think it’d be a great option for those with combination to oily skin. It’s very lightweight and sinks in quickly and lacks a strong fragrance. It kept the more normal areas of my face feeling soft, but it didn’t quite do it for the dry patches around my nose and between my eyebrows. I would recommend it to people lacking dry patches, especially anyone who wants something very lightweight for the summer.

On the other end of the texture spectrum, The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream was a very thick cream that worked best at night for me. It did a pretty good job of moisturizing, but the scent was truly awful. It smelled like straight up soap – and not the scented stuff that makes the bath aisle smell amazing.

Makeup

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Lots of mascaras! L’Oréal Miss Manga Mascara in Indigo disappointed me; I hate the swivel wand, and the colour did not show up well. I was hoping for a bright, bleu Majorelle-esque colour, but it was very subtle. I’ve used the Maybelline Illegal Length* and Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant before and like them both enough to use again, but probably not to purchase with my own money. Benefit Roller Lash and Lancôme Définicils were both new to me; out of the two, I preferred the Lancôme. Roller Lash underwhelmed me and the sample dried up shockingly quickly. Définicils was my daily mascara until I used up the sample, and I liked it, though I don’t think it’s Lancôme’s best mascara offering.

I felt very “meh” about the Collection Cream Puff Moisturising Lip Cream in Cotton Candy. The colour was very pretty and you can’t beat the price (about £2.50), but it wasn’t very smooth to apply and definitely was not moisturizing. I didn’t hate it, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

I got fairly used to Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Normal to Dry Skin in 110 Ivory, but after switching back to Revlon’s far less popular Nearly Naked, I do not harbour any particularly warm feelings towards ColorStay. I know it’s a favourite for a lot of people, but I didn’t find it especially great. I’m not a full coverage foundation person anyway, so perhaps I’m not adequately qualified to make this call; either way, I doubt I’ll repurchase. On the other had, I do love L’Oréal La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer in Rose Beige, which was featured in a prior empties post: “The fact that it covers my very dark, very present undereye circles so well and never creases makes me love science.” I ended up trying out a new undereye concealer after I ran out of La Touche Magique, and I honestly regret it!

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat is a favourite of mine, and I’ve repurchased it. I’m shocked it lasted as long as it did – about a year, with approximately weekly manicures. Definitely worth the twelve bucks!

Hair

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John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Bonder Lightening Shampoo did a great job at toning the green tint out of my hair, and it is quite effective at keeping the brass out as well. It’s not a miracle worker nor is it a replacement for a toner, but I’ve felt that my hair has retained its cool, pale tone quite well in the five months that I’ve been using this shampoo (and the coordinating conditioner). Batiste Dry Shampoo (original scent) is a staple for me. I have no interest in trying other dry shampoos because this one does the job!

Finally, I bought Ice Cream SheCare Deep Conditioning Mask in a moment of stupidity when I thought that purple packaging = purple conditioner and quickly discovered that it was just a normal conditioner. It was absolutely not a mask, and was no match for bleach-destroyed hair. I ended up using it in place of shaving cream just to finish it. It would probably be an acceptable option for those who haven’t doused their heads in bleach a dozen times, but I am not that person.

Phew. Now I can start anew here in Montreal!

Empties: February-April 2015

Posted on April 07, 2015 under Empties

It’s almost time for me to leave Scotland (Friday, baby!), so I have frantically been attempting to use up some products to save room in the luggage that I need to haul across the ocean back to Canada. Here are the products I’ve used up just in the nick of time!

Skincare

empties3-skin

La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution
I got this when there was a promo where you could get twice the product for the same price. That was back in June. $22 for a product I use at least four times a week that lasted me nine months is a steal, in my opinion. Additionally, I liked this product: it was gentle, but thorough. It didn’t sting or dry out my skin at all. La Roche-Posay continues to impress! I don’t think I’d buy the regular size at full price as it puts it at a much higher price per fl oz than Bioderma, but if they have this special again I’d definitely repurchase.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Mask
I enjoyed this mask’s soothing and cooling sensation, and I found that it worked reasonably well at reducing breakouts quickly. I didn’t use it regularly, but if I had a particularly rough breakout I’d use it every day for three or four days and it would do wonders at calming it down much faster than normal. I don’t think I’ll repurchase this anytime soon because I want to explore other masks, but I’d definitely recommend it.

Indeed Labs Pepta-Bright
Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat because Aisling gave me the tail end of a tube, meaning I did not use the whole thing up! Rather, I used it twice a day for about a week on a bout of hyperpigmentation that arose several months ago as a result of a particularly nasty zit. (I get terrible zit-caused hyperpigmentation; it sucks!) Here’s the before and after:

pepta-bright-before-and-after

One of the little spots has almost completely faded, and the other is visibly reduced (though it sprouted a new zit, so it’s hard to reach any conclusions about it). I know it’s easy to say, “Well, those spots would have faded naturally anyway” – but trust me, I know how my skin acts, and I can say that the Pepta-Bright has definitely faded those spots.

Also, I took a pretty picture of it when I had access to Aisling’s camera:

pepta-bright2

Anyway, this one is a winner in my books, and I really didn’t expect it to do anything. It’s on the pricey side so I’m not sure if I’ll end up buying it, but if I ever get serious about eliminating my hyperpigmentation this will be at the top of the list. And now I don’t have to do a full review of it!

Bodycare

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The Body Shop Olive Body Butter
I would recommend this body butter to someone who doesn’t like an overwhelming scent in their products. It doesn’t smell like olives at all, really; it’s quite a subtle scent, and reasonably pleasant. I prefer the scent and thicker texture of the coconut one, and once I’ve used up the remainder of my mango body butter I think Mr. Coconut and I will go exclusive. Gotta love modern romance.

Dermaglow Moisturizing Body Oil
Dermaglow went out of business several years ago so this is probably expired, but it smells the same so whatever. I like to live dangerously. I loved this stuff; it made my skin feel incredibly silky and worked fantastically under a thicker body moisturizer. Plus, that rose scent was divine. I’m sad this is gone. RIP Dermaglow. You made the only product that significantly impacted my keratosis pilaris and you will be forever mourned by your faithful devotees, my mother and I. (Seriously, if anyone can hook me up with a product even half as good as their 8% glycolic acid body lotion, I will be your slave for life.)

Makeup

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Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie
This is the first lipstick-ish product I have ever used up, which feels like an accomplishment. I loved the colour; it’s so wearable yet pretty, understated but a still a bit interesting. I wore this pretty much every day I travelled this year because it’s a comfortable formula and a great casual colour. However, I don’t love the Lip Butters in general so I won’t repurchase this.

berry-smoothie

Oh, hello, disconcerting close-up that shows off my peach fuzz and chin zits!

For the record, I purchased this in the winter of 2013 and finished it in March, so it lasted me somewhere in the vicinity of two years.

Rimmel lip liner in Eastend Snob
I put this lip liner through a lot; it’s a similar colour to my lips so it worked well under most lipsticks, and it’s a gorgeous colour on its own as well. I’m already well on my way through a second one of these.

Miscellaneous products

empties2-other

L’Oréal Elvive Colour Protect Mask
I told you I love this stuff! This is now my third tub of it and I will repurchase until the end of time! I’ve been without it for a few weeks now since I didn’t want to get a new tub and haul it back to Canada, but rest assured my baby and I will soon be reunited.

Superdrug Nourishing Nail Polish Remover
I mean, this was nail polish remover. It removed my nail polish. I much prefer the tubs with the sponges because I find them quicker and more convenient (not to mention less wasteful since you bypass the whole cotton pad issue!), but those don’t seem to be a thing in the UK, at least not as far as I could tell. I will be happy to get back to the land of abundant “I’m a lazy ass” nail polish remover!

Things I’m getting rid of

There are also a few products that aren’t empty but that I’m tossing or passing on.

empties2-trash

Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium
Aisling gifted this to me (she tends to unload her unwanted products on me), and it’s far too warm for my brows. It’s a perfectly good product so I will rehome it with one of my friends.

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Paris
This pale pink simply clashes with my complexion. I’ve tried to make it work several times, and I just hate it on myself. My friend Marston is much more tan than me and looks great in these types of colours, so I’m passing it on to her.

Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
Remember how I said I don’t love the Lip Butters? Yeah. I’m down to one now, and even that is tenuous. Peach Parfait was super hyped as a “my lips but better” colour in 2012/2013. That may be true for some people, but peaches never look good on me. Add that to the extreme gold sparkle in this particular shade and the fact that I don’t love the formula (it doesn’t last through anything!) and it’s time for someone else to give this product some love.

Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil in Medium
Again, the shade doesn’t work for me. This is also the old packaging, with a much thicker pencil; I find the new packaging, with the fine Anastasia-reminiscent tip, much more agreeable.

Benefit Pocketpal
I have absolutely no use for a clear gloss (I do not like lip gloss), so I emptied the mini Benetint into my full-sized Benetint. I will now proceed to throw this out, because I doubt any of my friends want a half-empty, used product.

I made it a mission to use up as much as possible between February and now, and I think I did okay! That’s fourteen products that I don’t have to fit into my very limited suitcase space.

Empties: September 2014-February 2015

Posted on February 20, 2015 under Empties

Who here loves empties? I love empties. I think I get a rush from seeing people use up products, because when you have a lot of things that can seem like an impossible task. It’s like vicarious satisfaction. Plus I like the sort of allowable voyeurism empties posts afford: it’s like digging through someone’s trash, except you’re invited to do it.

I have been hoarding empty products for months now (uh, since I moved to Glasgow in September), and I have finally gotten off my ass and photographed them all so that you can dig through my trash.

It’s cleaner than it sounds, I promise.

Products denoted with an *asterisk* are sample sizes.

Products in italics were received for free through work. All opinions are my own and the individual companies were not responsible for me acquiring these products. (I’m just not that important.)

Hair Stuff

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L’Oréal Elvive Smooth & Polish Perfecting Shampoo: I did not especially care for this shampoo. Despite its claims, I didn’t find it particularly moisturizing or smoothing. It was just a shampoo. I used it up because I didn’t hate it, but I would not repurchase.

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Colour Renew Tone Correcting Shampoo: This shampoo keeps my hair nice and blonde and doesn’t cost a bomb. It does a good job of cleaning my hair, and I feel like it’s fairly moisturizing. Thus, it does all three things I need it to do. My only complaint is that for someone with a lot of hair, one tube of this stuff gets used up scarily quickly. But I’ll keep buying it, probably. (I’m on my third or fourth tube, which is fairly high praise.)

Clean Scalp & Hair Therapy Total Care Shampoo*: I took this (and the conditioner, which I accidentally left in a hostel in Dublin) with me travelling. That is, essentially, the purpose it served: small enough to be packed in carry-on luggage for weekend jaunts around Europe. It did not blow me away otherwise, although, like the L’Oréal shampoo, I also didn’t hate it.

Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo*: Now this is a travel-sized shampoo that I like. I buy one of these every time I’m at the airport, because it is really, really good. It’s super moisturizing and leaves my hair feeling silky and wonderful, even without my trusty hair mask (which doesn’t conform to carry-on liquid restrictions). Unfortunately, it smells like public bathroom hand soap mixed with an old woman, which I don’t love. But the price is right, and it does the trick, so it remains my go-to travel shampoo.

Batiste Dry Shampoo – Oriental: Despite the (dubious) name, this does not smell especially strongly of anything to me, which is fine. I don’t need my dry shampoo to smell magical. I just need it to soak up the oil in my hair when I’ve been a lazy ass. I’ll probably just sick to the classic Batiste scent from now on, but this worked just as well.

L’Oréal Elvive Colour Protect Mask: Y’all know I swear by this mask.

L’Oréal Préférence Brass Defy Conditioner: This is such a good toner! It’s super effective and doesn’t leave a purple stain if you leave it in for, like, a minute longer than the recommended time, which so many toners do. The major downside to this one is that you can’t buy it separately – it comes with boxed bleach, and I prefer to mix my own bleach. Alas.

Skincare

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The Body Shop Vitamin E Illuminating Moisture Cream: I hated the “illuminating” part of this moisturizer, and admittedly it’s my fault for buying it despite the name, but, like, WHY WOULD THE BODY SHOP MAKE THIS? This is not the kind of subtle glow that means you look like an ethereal goddess even without any base makeup on. This is weird shimmer all over your face, which is fine if you live inside of a disco ball, but not fine if you live on planet Earth. I also didn’t find the moisturizer particularly great, but it is billed as “for all skin types” and I really should only be using products specifically aimed at dry skin.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner: I like this particular toner because it does precisely what it says on the tin (er, plastic bottle). I use it before moisturizer every single day, and I have noticed that my skin feels a lot better moisturized, for longer, since I’ve started using it. When I was in Canada over winter break (where Body Shop products are cheaper), I picked up a backup, which I have happily begun using ever since I ran out of the first bottle.

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter: I’m a rather passionate advocate for body butter, and I always stock up on them when The Body Shop has a 3 for $30 sale. I’ve tried various scents, but this one is my favourite by far. It’s the thickest consistency of body butter I’ve tried, which makes it less slippery and messy, and the coconut oil does wonders for my dry, keratosis pilaris-plagued skin. Also, it makes me smell delicious. Next time there’s a 3 for $30 sale I might just buy 3 of these.

StriVection Present Perfect Antioxidant Defense Lotion*: This is a moisturizer. It is billed as a lotion that prevents aging before it starts, and I don’t know if that’s true or not because I’m only twenty and have not been using it long enough to know if it makes any difference. I have a million of these little samples thanks to a very generous StriVectin rep I used to work with occasionally, and I use them when I’m travelling. They are fine. They are moisturizers. The full size is $60, which is actually incredibly inexpensive for StriVectin. I will not be purchasing it.

Lancôme Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover*: You know when you get a free sample of a really expensive product and you’re like, God, I hope I hate this so I don’t have to buy the full size, and then it’s the most magical product in the world and you’re like, Dammit, now I have to spend $36 on an eye makeup remover! Yeah. This is that. I thought micellar water was pretty damn good at removing eye makeup, but it is NOTHING compared to this magical shit. Fuck you, Lancôme. Just take my money.

Makeup

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Maybelline Mega Plush Volum’Express Waterproof Mascara: I did not care for this mascara, and I am rather easy to impress when it comes to such things. My lashes are naturally pretty long and thick, so it doesn’t take much for me to at least like a mascara. This one made them quite lackluster, and didn’t hold a curl well. Boo.

Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara*: Conversely, I have very strong feelings of love for this mascara. It lengthens admirably without ever clumping. It holds a curl well. It doesn’t smudge. I got three of them for free through work and I will be eagerly using up the other two.

No 7 Extreme Length Extend Mascara*: This mascara was okay. Despite the name, it didn’t do anything extreme to my lashes, but it’s a solid everyday option for those who like something a bit more subtle.

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara*: I loved this one! My lashes looked fluttery and voluminous with it. I’d totally buy the full size if I weren’t strictly morally opposed to ever spending more than $10 on mascara when a) the drugstore has so many awesome options, and b) you can get free samples of the fancy shit very easily.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara*: I liked this one too, and thanks to my mascara-sensitive mother donating her Sephora birthday gift to me, I have a backup. This is lengthening, voluminous, and slightly prone to clumping if you’re not careful. It’s great for dramatic looks, or just for when you want your lashes to look truly top-notch in every dimension.

ELF Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara: This was sent to me by my lovely friend Liz in a makeup swap, and it makes a great brow gel. I used both sides for my brows since my eyelashes scoff at the idea of clear mascara (or, indeed, any mascara that isn’t jet black) and didn’t notice any differences in formula. It held my eyebrows in place, and that is all I ask of a brow gel. If you want a good brow gel and you’re on a budget, I highly recommend this one.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: Normally a story beginning with “I was in Brussels” would be happy, but what if that story is “I was in Brussels and accidentally destroyed a $26 eyeliner that I had just opened”? Yeah. True story. Tragic story. Of course, I promptly purchased another one, because this is my holy grail eyeliner.

Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner*: I hate this eyeliner. Hate. DESPISE, even. It is evil. It simultaneously transfers on my eyelid and then refuses to come off. It can be used in the waterline, or to tightline, with reasonably okay results, but I find the applicator rather unwieldy to use. Dare I call this a gimmick? Yes, I do: it’s a gimmick. I’ll stick to gel liner with a brush, thanks. It must be noted that I also passionately despise the They’re Real! mascara, and thus must go on the record as being vehemently opposed to the They’re Real! line.

Revlon Nearly Naked Makeup in 110 Ivory: I’ve talked about this foundation before; I love it. This was my second bottle, and if it weren’t for Shoppers Drug Mart thwarting me and being out of my shade, I’d be well into my third bottle right now. (I suppose I could go to Superdrug and purchase it, but things are always more expensive in the UK and I’m stubborn.) When I make my triumphant return to Canada in April, I will be picking up another bottle of this. It’s a wonderful foundation, and it’s super budget-friendly. That’s a win, in my books.

L’Oréal La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer in Rose Beige: I love this concealer and I bought another one as soon as I ran out. The fact that it covers my very dark, very present undereye circles so well and never creases makes me love science.

OCC Lip Tar in Hush*: I bought some Lip Tar samples from an online vendor for my friend Cheyne’s birthday last February. (It’s her birthday tomorrow! Happy birthday, Cheyne!) The vendor threw in this nearly used-up tube of Hush for free, and I kept it for myself because I’m a jerk like that. It took me until two weeks ago (so, almost an entire year) to try it on. It is not my colour; peachy nudes never are. It is also now empty, so I can finally throw out this used-up tube of Lip Tar that I have been hoarding for a year, which I even brought across the Atlantic Ocean with me like a total ding-dong.

And there you have it, my friends: 23 items from my trash, circa September to now. I hope it has been enlightening.