Sunday, December 23, 2012

Empties #2 (part 2)

FACE: This is my weakest/strongest area.  Such a sucker for the latest and greatest, and we won't even mention "the Resolution."  More on that after January 1st..........

1. Sonia Kashuk Eye Makeup Remover - I use this everyday - love it and will always re-buy, BUY
2. Smith's Rosebud Salve - great multi-tasker for lips, dry spots, soothes minor cuts etc.  Have it in tube form which I prefer for sanitary reasons.  BUY
3. Skindanavia Makeup Setting Spray - again, I use this every day to set my make-up and have it last longer. Though I use primer as well, this takes the powdery texture of setting powder and smoothes it all out.  It comes in different finishes, but I do not know/notice any difference. BUY
4. Almay Get Up and Grow Mascaras (reg and waterproof) - love how these make my lashes look fluttery and voluminous, however I will only buy the Waterproof again.  The regular version transfers so I get smudges under my eyes.  BUY (wp only)
5. Peter Thomas Roth Anti-aging Cleansing Gel - too harsh for my dry skin.  It has chemical exfoliants which I am interested in using, but because my skin is so dry, it felt stripped of all moisture.  I think this would work very well if you have oily/combo skin.
6. Murad Skin Perfecting Primer - did not notice any significant smoothing and it did not help my make-up last any longer.  NO BUY
7. Stila Forever Your Curl Mascara - eh, good separation, not enough volumizing for me.  NO BUY
8. Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 45 - good texture, absorbs quickly, high level SPF.  Would buy in summer. BUY
9. Tarte Emphaseyes Inner Rim Pencil in black - dried out too fast, does not roll down, breaks easily.  NO BUY
10. Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pencil in dark purple - love the texture and staying power. BUY
11. Trish McEvoy lip pencil in #12 - good basic pencil, kinda pricey and think you can get same or better quality for less.  NO BUY
12. Caudalie Vinexpert Radiance Day Cream - leaves skin glowy and smooth.  However, disappointed that it does not have SPF for a day cream therefore NO BUY
13. Chanel Le Blanc Brightening Moisture Cream - ditto above comment, have quite a few samples that I will use up, but NO BUY
14. Chanel Sublimage Essential Regenerating Fluid - used up sample and I believe that to see progress with skincare, you will need to use it longer than a week.  With that said, it did not break me out which is why I was really testing it.  It is extremely expensive ($300!) and with my short-attention span and limited funds it is a NO BUY for me.

Empties #2 (part 1) - making some progress!

First off, apologies for being absent.  I have been going through some personal/work stress, making some decisions, etc. that are going to affect me, family, work, home and been really focusing on those.  I will post on those changes most likely beginning of January, once it all is finalized.

So on to Empties!  As you will see there are quite a few hair/body items that have been used up.  Now I will confess that in some cases, it was a family effort to finish these up.  I do have a few shower products that I keep hidden when not in use and take them into the shower with me, then hide when I am done.  The primary reason for this is $$$$.  Love Hub and Kids, but the fact of the matter is that some of those "secret" items are pricey (Exfolikate by Kate Somerville) and/or hard to get (Haus of Gloi body scrubs and butters) so I want to keep grubby little hands off so they do not go to waste and down the drain.  Hub does not care as long as there is some version of shampoo, conditioner, face scrub, and body wash.

Regarding my BUY/NO BUY label, will only label if I feel STRONGLY one way or the other.  If there is not a label, it means that I may repurchase if it was on sale, and would not be opposed to trying it again.  Kinda wishy/washy, take it or leave it!

I have divided them up by body part/usage to make it a bit more organized (messed up a couple hair products in the pics, but you will get the gist).  I also need to break this up into 2 parts since there is a Label limit.  So on to hair and body.  Make-up/face stuff will follow.

Looks like alot - right?  It is to me!
HAIR:  I am not a hair-person.  As long as it is relatively clean and not all frizzed out, I really do not care too much.  I see all these really cool styles and have great admiration for those that can do a waterfall braid on themselves.  I just ain't one of them!  With that being said, use the hair product reviews at your own risk!

1. L'Oreal Eversleek shampoo and conditioner - sulfate-free, can be hard to get a lather if I have been using alot of dry shampoo.  Decent, would get again IF on sale!
2. Bain de Terre Lemongrass Volumizing Shampoo - cleaned my hair, great smell.  Was OK.
3. Global Keratin Juvexin Shampoo and Conditioner - received this via Glossybox and it made my scalp itch.  It could be the cold weather that we are having, but it was noticable enough that I have to rate this as a NO BUY.
4. Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo - in general, I like all Fekkai products, so would BUY.
5. Fekkai PrX Intensive Fortifying Mask (sample) - ditto see above, but I have to confess that I do not see a big difference between a "hair mask" and regular conditioner - I am such a heathen!
6. Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment - I like hair oils in general.  Since I have fine hair (just alot of it), I need to be careful that I only apply to the lower 1/2 of my hair, or it will be grease-city.  I think this stuff is pretty expensive, and I have a few others that I am trying out so will not be rushing out to re-purchase any time soon.
7. Aveda Pure Abundance Style-Prep - This is a spray that you apply to roots to give it volume.  Saw an immediate difference that did not last all day.  Too expensive for it not to last - NO BUY
8. Biosilk Silk Therapy - really smoothes out the hair, just need to be careful on amount used and placement. Again, have a few similar products that I want to use up before I purchase.
9. Clairol Natural Instincts Color Treat (step 3 in hair dye process) - this came from my box of home hair dye - yes, I dye my roots every 3-4 weeks.  I started going gray at 18, and need my monthly fix or I look like a Pepe lePew's girlfriend.  I pretty much buy whichever permanent dark brown dye is on sale, and sometimes buy in bulk if on clearance.  Sooooo sad..........

BODY:  I love body stuff.  Scrubs, exfioliators, oils, lotions, buffers, etc.  I have VERY dry skin, and tend to get scaly especially in winter.  I also like taking baths, but the tub in our house is so small, that it is just not comfortable.  So it is a bit surprising that I do not have that many empties, but I have 5-7 open containers right now.  I will try to use them up before trying the next new thing.

1. Dr. Teal's Epsom Salts in Relax - smell good, especially for night.  Kids used this most of all.  Terrific price for a large amount.  BUY
2. Philosophy Pure Grace Foaming Bath and Shower Cream - great suds, a little goes a long way.  This scent was a little too flowery for me.  I prefer clean, fruity scents for body washes.  May buy a couple other scents.
3. Philosophy Hands of Hope Cream - really like this hand cream, not a feminine scent so Hub likes it too. Have bought back-ups already, BUY
4. L'Occitane Hand Cream (sample) - have bought this in the past and may buy this when my Philosophy is used up.  It is a little richer, and leaves more of an emollient feeling on hands.  Can see using this more for night, or if I will be outside for long periods of time. BUY
5. Memoire Liquide Creme de la Creme in Amour Liquide - I got this in a QVC Beauty Test Tube and I liked how it applied and absorbed into my skin.  However, the scent is too sweet for me (creme brulee?).  I ended up using the last of it on my feet after the shower.  NO BUY
6. Ulta 3-in-1 Shower Smoothie - I mainly buy these for the kids since they love the smell.  They clean the kids, but the bubbles die out pretty quickly.  My son also has VERY dry skin so I need to make sure he gets some lotion on after using this.  Would only buy again when on super sale.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Haul: Baby did a bad, bad thing..........

Whatever happened to Chris Isaak?  I love his music and the fact that he was a Cali boy through and through. 

As I was looking at my holiday shopping loot, his song was running through my mind.  Of course, I did not have a hot (have no idea if he is still hot, where the hell is he????) surfer singing in my ear.   Only the sound of guilt-waves crashing through my brain.

Oh yeah baby, mama went shopping!  And not just once, multiple times.  So what did I haul?

Josie Maran: holiday set from Sephora, and F/F sale from JM website

Korres Scrub/Facial set, Orgins Vita-Zing, sample scrub from Laura Mercier
Holy Armani Batman!

Wet-n-Wild, LM, Dior gloss, UD, Tarte

Swatches from Wet and Wild Palette and LM Eye Color Stick in Khaki

Armani swatches
I am not going to list everything because I am lazy.  I just felt like I needed to document/record this for posterity.  I am still on the fence about a couple of the Armani items (will do a separate Armani Blog/review later) and want to give them a few more trys before I decide.

Just a call-out to the ones that I am really pleased with:

- JM Argan Oil Balm - I have been carting this around for my dry, cracked fingers and cuticles.  Have definitely seen some improvement in texture.
- Dior Lip Maximizer/Plumper - I just love the Dior lip products that I have (balm, plumper, lipsticks and lip liner).  I am holding out on getting any of the glosses since they have a brush applicator of which I am not typically a fan - much prefer the doe-foot type.
- Korres Wild Rose 24-hour Facial - love the smell of this cream.  I think you are supposed to wear this overnight, but my skin is so dry I am using it under my primer.  My skin is staying soft all day, makeup is not slipping, and all is right with the world!
- Armani Sheer lipstick #30 - great nude lippie!

HG Lips: Clarins Instant Light Perfector (and Book Rec)

Chicago continues to surprise me even after 2 years.  Do you know why Chicago is called the Windy City?  Most assume it is because of the wind coming off Lake Michigan.  While it can get tremendously windy, the city got its nickname from the "hot air" coming out of its politicians mouths at the turn of the 20th century.  When we knew we were going to be moving here, Hub and I read the book Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.  It gave us great insight into the history of the city as it is now, as well as entertaining us with a true serial killer story - highly recommend!

Anyway back to present day, we moved here in time for the record-breaking blizzard of February 2011 which made us second-guess our decision to move here.  However, last winter and this winter (so far, hope I don't jinx us......) has been relatively mild.  It is actually going to be in the mid-60s tomorrow, in December!

My lips on the other hand are acting like it is in the 20s.  Dry, flaky, peeling etc.  So I broke out my summer lip balm/gloss: Clarins Instant Light Perfector.  These glosses/balms are DA BOMB baby!

They come in 3 colors: 01 pink, 02 peach, and 03 nude.  I love all 3 and wear them equally.  I keep one in my purse, one at my desk, and one by my bed.  I consider these one of my Holy Grail (HG) lip products.

Swatches and on my lips below (01 pink):

BUY them now!  You can get them at any Clarins counter (Macy's, Norstrom's) and Clarins Cosmetics USA website