Thursday, October 12, 2017

More empties

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It seems like I just wrote an empties post, but I took the rather uninspiring photo above back at the end of August. So it's time to write about this garbage (literal garbage, I mean--some of the products are great) before I forget all about everything. The main function of these posts for me is to keep a record of things I've tried, so that I can remember what I should and shouldn't buy again. I have a terrible memory! I hope they're at least somewhat useful and/or interesting to you too.

(I'll move from left to right in the photo, top row and then bottom row.)

Note: I used referral credits to buy the Paula's Choice products listed here, in case you're wondering how I could so cavalierly dispose of some of this expensive shit.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day In Shower Styler (mini): I got this as part of a Sephora Favorites kit and ended up loving it. I've already got a full size. If you have little-to-no wave in your hair like me, you can get little-to-some wave with very minimal effort using this stuff. You just apply it to your wet hair and barely rinse it in the shower, and then air dry (while occasionally scrunching, if you remember). Simple! (I think it enhances curl and wave in other hair types too, but I can't speak from experience.)

Sephora Gel Serum Concealer in Buttercream: Swatched here. This is my favorite concealer formula, and this shade is a good match, but I replaced it with Fondant (reviewed here), because for whatever reason the coverage and application seems better in that shade. Oh, and if you tried this stuff a year or two ago and hated the applicator, they've changed it.

John Frieda 7-Day Volume: Reviewed here. I'm on my third or fourth bottle. Good stuff! (It's much, much cheaper on Amazon than anywhere else I've seen it, for some reason, so I always get it there.)

Paula's Choice 8% AHA Gel: A lot of people love this product, but I've found that glycolic acid just doesn't seem to have any effect on my skin. Lactic acid (like the mask reviewed here) works much better for me. So I used probably a quarter of the bottle on my face, then started mixing it with body lotion for my legs, etc., for a while, and then finally when I moved, I tossed the rest, because I didn't want to pack it.

Paula's Choice Hydralight Lotion: Reviewed here. This moisturizer was a favorite of a lot of people, myself included, and so Paula's Choice got a lot of flack for discontinuing it this year. Thankfully they listened to feedback and brought it back!

Paula's Choice Resist Oil Booster: It's a decent, light skin oil, I guess, but it's nothing special for the price. I ended up using it mostly on my cuticles and as the last step in this excellent masking routine.

Paula's Choice Moisture Boost Cleanser: I have said many times that you can get cleansers that are just as good as those from Paula's Choice for a much lower price, but of theirs this is probably my favorite. I don't even have dry skin, but it's still effective, gentle, and non-drying.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir: So this is pretty much just scented alcohol and water with a bit of glycerin in it. A lot of people love it, but I don't know what they experience when they use it, because it did nothing for me. I ended up using it as a (very pricey) body spray--fortunately it was in a Sephora Favorites kit, too, and the kit was marked way down, so I didn't actually spend much to try it.

Wet N Wild Mattifying Powder: This is a decent powder. It has a fine texture and it does mattify. But I have never emptied a powder so quickly in my life! I think I finished the whole thing between about April and August, and that wasn't using it every day. My brush picked up a lot, and the pan is barely more than a millimeter deep, despite the unnecessarily large packaging. It's fairly cheap, but you can definitely find an equally affordable and effective powder out there that will last you five times as long. I wouldn't buy it again, needless to say.

Batiste Tropical Dry Shampoo (mini): Smells like piƱa colada, works just as well as all the other Batiste dry shampoos.

Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask: Reviewed here. This is my favorite mask ever. It works so well, it's cheap, and the tube contains a TON. I didn't actually finish it, because of that whole containing a ton thing, but it was getting very old and I had certainly got my money's worth. I'll definitely buy another tube once I finish the new clay mask I'm trying now.

Dr. Brant Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner: This is a thin mask that works pretty well, but it's much more expensive and less effective than the Freeman mask above, so I'd recommend that instead.

Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt (mini): I got this in a Sephora Play! box. I liked it--it did make my roots/scalp feel cleaner. It definitely needs to be followed up with conditioner if you don't want super crunchy hair. I figured I could DIY it by mixing a bunch of epsom salts (I had some Aloe & Rosemary salts from CVS that had a very similar scent to this) with shampoo, but the salt turned the shampoo really watery and it wasn't the same at all. I still don't think I would spent the million dollars they want from me to put some salt on my head, though.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream (travel size): You can buy this cheaper in giant tubs, but I mainly only use it as a heavy eye cream or on whatever part of my face needs some extra moisture, so the tiny jar lasts me about a year. I got mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond, but I can't find this little jar online anywhere for you. And now I'm reminded that I have a new replacement jar at home that I haven't opened yet, and I should dig that out. It's great if you want something thick but simple to layer over other products.

So that's it for this round! Have you finished up anything exciting (or terrible) lately?


  1. Oh man, I was literally two seconds away from clicking 'Complete Order' on Sephora for a mini Caudalie Beauty Elixir spray and I read this and came to my senses! I am new to your blog so maybe you have something on this, but is there any facial spray that is worth it? I like the idea of the facial spray but I also have seen so many things that say "facial spray does nothing, it's a waste of money for no reason"... anyway this was super helpful and just saved me $18 lol

    1. I'm glad I could help! I'm not a big facial spray person, but I know people have had good luck with DIY mists using rosewater and glycerin (and they're cheap!). In general, I would probably look for something either without alcohol, or if you want moisture, with the glycerin high on the list (definitely not after the fragrance like it is in the Caudalie spray!).

    2. You didn't ask me, BUT: I love the Heritage Store Rosewater and Glycerin spray, which comes in a big pink bottle and is pretty affordable (I buy it at my local health-food store). It has a lot of entertaining woo-woo shit on the label, but if you can look past that (I usually decant the spray into a travel bottle anyway), it's a really refreshing product. I have dry skin, so I use it as a setting spray after applying powder makeup, which melts the powder into my skin and makes it look more natural. Plus, it just smells nice and makes me feel like I'm treating myself, and there's nothing wrong with that.

  2. So this is weird: I'm extremely close to finishing my own Freeman avocado mask, but the last two times I've used it, it's made my eyes water. (Actually, one of those times I was using the replacement tube I'd bought.) I can't figure out why my eyes are suddenly sensitive to one of the ingredients (maybe the fragrance?) when they never were before. Any thoughts?

    1. That happens to me every time, actually! And with some other masks. My theory is that it's one of the ingredients evaporating quickly so that the mask will dry, though I'm not sure which one. The mask I'm using now is their Sparkling Pear clay mask, and it doesn't make my eyes water, though it's not quite as effective as the avocado one, either.

    2. Oh, that's interesting! At least now I feel reassured that I won't go blind or something.

  3. I have wavy hair and the Living Proof in shower styler does nothing for me. It actually makes it more frizzy!

    1. Oh no! Well, that's useful information, thanks!

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