Friday, 30 November 2018

Empties - November 2018

The other day, I realized that I haven't done an empties post on my blog since February 2017 (I have done a couple on my instagram herehere, and here, but it's not the same in terms of being able to chronicle what products I have used up and what my thoughts on them have been). So consider this my official return to empties!

Starting off, I used up a few haircare items:

Living Proof PhD Dry Shampoo: I've tried a lot of dry shampoos, and this is the only one that actually leaves my hair feeling clean. It sprays out white, but minimal effort is needed to get rid of the white cast. I already had a back up of this at the ready (I always grab it when there are 20% discounts at Sephora or Ulta).

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo: This deluxe sample came with one of my orders (from Sephora, I imagine—I'm still working through the conditioner). To be frank, I simply don't rate this product at all. Few, if any, shampoos or conditioners have ever wowed me; most are just ok. As long as they don't make my hair even oilier than it naturally is, I will use them. That was the case here. I wouldn't spend the money to purchase a full size. Give me a bottle of Pantene (or Marajó) anyday.

R+Co Television Hair Shampoo and Conditioner: I went through two sample sachets of the R+Co Television Hair shampoo and conditioner combo. The small sachets are great for weekends away, but as with the Bumble and Bumble, I wasn't impressed enough to buy a full size of these.

Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Resist Shampoo: Another instance of where I went through the shampoo way faster than the conditioner. It used to be the other way around—what is going on there?! This is a cheap pick from the supermarket that is meant to stop your hair from falling out. I have a lot of hair, but it's very fine, prone to tangling, and it sheds like there is no end in sight. I didn't notice this shampoo reducing the fall out, but it was ok and I would buy it again simply because of the price point.

Shifting to candles:

Diptyque Rose Delight Candle: This was Diptyque's limited edition rose offering for Feburary 2018. Inspired by the sweet treat Turkish Delight, this candle was surprisingly not oversweet. It was a sweet, yet fresh floral with a fantastic throw. It definitely filled up big spaces with ease. I have recently noticed some stores with stock of this candle and I am very seriously contemplating picking another couple up while I have the chance. Diptyque candles are always a win for me.

Otherland Candle in Canopy: From the core collection of this young brand (launched in 2017, decidedly with Instagram aesthetics in mind), Canopy has notes of fig, ivy, and mint. The scent was indeed pleasant, but it was super weak while burning. I had to move it into a smaller room to even make sense of burning it. The price point on these are good compared to other luxury candles ($36 for 8oz compared to Diptyque's $68 for 6.5oz, for example) but unless the other ones I bought at the same time have a stronger scent when lit, I won't be placing any more Otherland orders. I would rather stick to a $12.95 Bath and Body Work 3-wick.

Makeup-wise, I only went through three items—and two are technically not empty:

Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler: I bought this from Sephora in the spring of 2015, so this curler lasted well over 3 years. As my all-time favorite (easily beating the likes of Shu, Shiseido, et al), I already had a backup on hand. And since I am nervous about Surratt's continued existence as a brand and I wanted to take advantage of the recent 50% off of the entire line at Sephora, I got another one. Just in case.

Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Cream in Iced Gold: This is a true staple of the old days of YouTube and beauty bloggers. I believe it was mostly Anna who convinced me I needed this in my life and I have had it for SEVEN YEARS. I am not one who has qualms about continuing to use makeup long past the recommended expiration date; I go by changes in smell and/or texture alone. And for a long time, Iced Gold hung on. But when I recently slapped it on my cheeks, it was clear that it no longer was good. Sad times.

Dr Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF30: Discovering this product has been a revelation. As I get older, I prefer less and less base coverage on my face. Even a tinted moisturizer can sometimes feel too heavy for me. This is perfect for those days--it minimizes redness (which I have a bit of, particularly on my cheeks and nose) and gently mattifies. I still feel polished and put together when I wear this, but it is the ultimate 'no-makeup makeup.'

Now for skincare, always the bulk of my empties:

Shiseido Facial Cotton: I always repurchase several of these during sales. I only use drug store cotton rounds for things like nail polish and swatch removal; the Shiseido gets saved for when it's on my face. The sale price and number of cottons in each pack mean that they aren't too much more than the drugstore variety.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum: I purchased this in January 2017, so it took me over a year and a half to work my way through it. The air tight packaging (essential for products prone to oxidation, like Vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid) prolonged it's life, but I'm fairly sure it oxidized nonetheless. Regardless, I didn't love this Vitamin C serum as much as many others seem to. I prefer the results of the Timeless Vitamin C + Ferulic Acid serum.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Night Serum: Although I used up the entirety of this product, it gets a hard pass from me. If you want a good night serum of gel-like consistency, get the Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel. It's $29 to Drunk Elephant's $90. And it is far more effective, in my experience. Or if you are set on an AHA nightime product, I've been enjoying the Farmacy AHA Honeymoon Glow Serum (but it's still early days).

Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm: This leaves zero residue and is very effective at removing makeup. The only downside is it stings ever so slightly when I remove my eye makeup. Still, it's efficacy is good enough that I will continue to repurchase (once I've used up some of my other oil/balm cleansers: Biossance, Votary, and Stark Skincare, to name just a few!)

Glow by Dr Brandt Ruby Crystal Retinol Hydracreme: A unique daytime retinol formulation, I quite enjoyed this product. It did often fall to the wayside in favor of other more exciting products. And, all in all, I prefer my retinols at night. So, I wouldn't repurchase (I think this has been discontinued anyways!)

Stark Skincare Eclipse Cleansing Gel: Eclipse's consistency is that of a watery gel. Quite unique, and it plays very well with a Clarisonic. The formula gently clarifies impurities, without being harsh or stripping. And the lightweight packaging is a god send for travel—I know glass bottles look chic and are better for the environment, but half of my luggage weight seems like it is skincare bottles alone. If you haven't looked at Stark Skincare (a direct to consumer green skincare line), do check out their stellar line of products.

Susanne Kaufmann Enzyme Peel: It's somewhat unfair to judge a product based on a single-use sachet, but I'm going to do it anyways. This was nothing special. Perhaps those with sensitive skins could use it as a very mild exfoliant, but I need something much, much stronger.

Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Dew It All Eye Gel: Despite its hyaluronic acid, this gel eye cream was not moisturizing enough to do anything for my fine lines. I will easily skip this in favor of something richer next time.

Oriflame Milk & Honey Body Cream: A friend kindly gifted this to me (thanks, Valentina!) and I really enjoyed the scent. It smelled slightly sweet, but not enough to compete with other scents. And the formula sank into my skin easily. I would definitely repurchase.

And for two perfume samples:

Guerlain Mon Guerlain: I have literally zero recollection of what this smells like. I liked it enough to use it up (scents that I immediately dislike are discarded straight away), but I wouldn't purchase.

Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobilia: I have bought this line's Peonia Nobilia, and the Rosa Nobilia is next. A beautiful rose scent that avoids smelling old or dated. Love.

That is it for now! Have you used any of these products? Link me to your empties posts—they're some of my faves!

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