Tag Archives: Skin Care

January 2014 Empties

So I managed to use up a ton of products this month.  I tried taking one picture of everything, but there was just too much.  There are some really great products in my empties this month, and I’m sad to see them go, but thrilled that I am starting to make a dent in my collection.

January 2014 Empties

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask (Sephora, $24) This is the first activated charcoal mask that I ever tried, and it works wonders.  I noticed improvement with just one use, this mask is great at cleaning out your pores and melting blackheads away.  It dries in 10-15 minutes, and doesn’t feel harsh on my skin.  I am sure I will repurchase this once I make a dent in my drawer of masks.

Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Treatment Mask (Target, $3)  Target had these single sheet masks in the one spot section, so I picked one up.  I would obviously have to use more than one mask to notice any dark spot improvements, but this was a decent mask.  I am sure I will repurchase again.

Dr. Jart+ Water-full Hydrogel Mask (Sephora, $9) Another sheet mask, but a huge disappointment.  This mask is a gel sheet mask that is supposed to infuse moisture into your skin.  I wouldn’t say it left any moisture behind.  After use, my face didn’t feel tight or dry, but I definitely wasn’t “water-full” either.  Will not repurchase.

Dr. Jart+ Pore Medic Pore Purifying Mask (Sephora, $6) This one was much better.  The sheet is absolutely soaked in product, and after use I noticed a more even complexion and a definite improvement in my pores.  I did have to rinse my face off afterwards, because there was so much product left over it would have been impossible to rub in.  I will probably repurchase at some point.

Que Bella Balancing Ylang Ylang Mask (Target, $1.50) I got a bunch of different Que Bella individual masks in my Christmas stocking, but this is the only one I’ve tried so far.  It was alright, I didn’t notice a huge difference in my skin, but I also don’t have oily skin that needs to be balancing.  I probably wouldn’t repurchase this particular mask.

Glamglow Youthmud (Sephora, $19) I reviewed this here.  I enjoyed this mask very much, and I think Glamglow is absolutely worth the money.  I will definitely repurchase at some point.

January 2014 Empties 4

Ole Henricksen Truth To Go Wipes (Sephora, $15)   I am so glad to be done with these.  This was part of a Sephora Black Friday Deal that I got, and they were just ok.  They did what they were supposed to, but I didn’t find anything special about them.  The smell was a very strong citrusy candy smell, which I didn’t really enjoy.  I would not repurchase them.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Intensive Hand Cream (Sephora, $22) I reviewed this here.  I loved this hand cream.  I have one more tube to use up, and after that I will probably repurchase.

Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial (Sephora, $48) I’ve gotten deluxe samples of this a few times, because I always forget that it makes me break out.  Aside from that, I don’t notice much of a difference when I use this.  It doesn’t really do anything for me that a less expensive night cream will do (besides break me out!)  I will not be purchasing.

L’Occitane Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil (Sephora, $24)  It took me forever to get through this deluxe sample.  I’m not big on body washes or shower gels, but was intrigued by a shower oil.  I expected that this would leave my skin very moisturized, but it really didn’t.  The oil lathered up like a soap, and it didn’t leave much behind in the way of moisture.  I won’t be repurchasing.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream (Sephora, $25)  I’ve gotten tons of samples of this over the years, and have a full size tub that I completely forgot about until recently.  It has the consistency of petroleum jelly, but moisturizes well and sinks in quickly.  Even though I like it, I don’t think I’ll purchase it again.

Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream (Sephora, $75) This is a deluxe sample I got from Sephora, and I really enjoyed this cream.  I used it as a night cream, it is very thick and super moisturizing.  Unfortunately, it caused me to break out, so I will not repurchase.

Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream (Clarins, $25) This is a deluxe sample that I’ve had for a while now, but I really liked it.  It has a light peppermint scent, and leaves moisture behind without being greasy.  Because of the price, though, I don’t think I’ll repurchase.  I’m currently using a foot cream by Curel that I think works just as well as this one.

January 2014 Empties 3

Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara (Sephora, $30) I am very sad to see this in my empties, because it is the best mascara I have ever used.  Its super black, gives great volume and length, and holds curl.  It lasts all day without smudging or flaking, and never clumps.  It is pricey, but worth every penny and I will absolutely be repurchasing.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes Mascara (Sephora, $23)  This came with Sephora’s Lash Stash, and the tube isn’t even close to empty, but it just doesn’t work for me.  The mascara looks nice, but smudges within a couple hours, without fail.  After a few more hours, it starts flaking.  I will most definitely not be repurchasing.

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation (Sephora, $36) This is probably one of the first bottles of foundation I’ve ever finished, I usually get bored with them way before that happens.  This was a very nice foundation.  Medium coverage with a natural finish.  I probably won’t repurchase, though, since I have a ton of other foundations I want to try.

Urban Decay Primer Potion (Sephora, $20) I have a ton of these little samples in my drawer, this one happened to be dried up when I pulled it out to use it.  Urban Decay is my favorite eyeshadow primer, and while I don’t wear eyeshadow as much as I used to, I will always have this on hand.

January 2014 Empties 2

Living Proof Nourishing Styling Cream (Sephora, $36)  This stuff is amazing, and it is part of what inspired me to switch to silicone/sulfate free hair care at the beginning of this year.  It leaves hair super soft, adds shine and almost completely eliminates frizz.  It is very light as well, so it does not weigh down hair at all.  I am definitely planning on repurchasing.

Clear Scalp & Hair 7 Day Intensive Treatment (Drugstores, $14.99)  As you can see, I found this on clearance and that’s the only reason I bought it.  I did not quite finish this, because it contains silicones, but I did like it when I used it.  The box contains 7 individual tubes that you are supposed to apply to your scalp for 7 days in a row.  I did not use them in a row, but I still noticed an improvement.  It leaves your scalp feeling moisturized.

Tresemme Keratin Smooth Heat Protection Shine Spray (Drugstores, $5.99) I LOVE this stuff.  I only just recently started using heat protection, I always felt like it was an extra step that would just weigh my hair down.  But this stuff gets the job done without the feel of added product.  Even when sprayed liberally, there is no build up.  Unfortunately, since this contains silicones I will no longer use it in my hair, and I am not having very much success finding a replacement.

The end, finally!  Anything in here you’ve tried?  I’d love to hear your opinions on some of these products!

December 2013 Empties

December 2013 Empties

I struggled with doing empties posts.  I get satisfaction from throwing empty products away, and saving up a bunch of garbage kind of annoys me.  But I have a strange fascination with reading empties posts, and I think it’s a great way to give a quick review.  After you’ve used up a product, you should have a good idea how it works for you.   So I decided to suck it up and start saving my empties.  I’m actually surprised at how many products I used up this month, which is great since one of my goals for 2014 is to make a huge dent in my product collection.

December 2013 Empties 2

Bosica Luminizing Black Mask (Sephora, $34)  It took me quite a while to use this mask up.  At first, I really liked it.  It’s a peel off mask, and once it dries, it’s basically a giant full face pore strip.  It is effective, but painful.  While it does a decent job clearing out your pores, it does an even better job pulling out your tiny face hairs.  I have since discovered the power of activated charcoal, and find it to be much more effective and much less painful.  I doubt I’ll repurchase.

Yes To Carrots Daily Cream Cleanser (Target, $7.99)  I really liked this cleanser.  There is no noticeable scent, and it does a great job cleansing.  I kept this one in the shower to use in the mornings with my Clarisonic.  It is creamy, lathers nicely, and washes off easily.  I will definitely repurchase this one.

Puur Body Lip Balm in Pumpkin Pie (PuurBody, $3.50)  This isn’t actually an empty, but it has turned.  I’ve had this for about a year, and just recently noticed the smell and taste had changed.  The lip balm is decently moisturizing, and smells great, but I wasn’t too fond of the taste.  It’s worth checking out, but I probably won’t repurchase.

December 2013 Empties 3

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner (Sephora, $54)  I got this during Sephora’s Black Friday sale, as a set with the CC cream from the same line.  I love this shampoo and conditioner!  The bottles were enough for about 6 uses.  After the first wash my hair was noticeably softer and shinier.  In the short time that I used the shampoo and conditioner, my hair looks so much better.  The smell wasn’t too great, pretty earthy, but not overwhelming.  However, for as much as I love this duo, there is no way I would ever pay $54 for an 8 ounce bottle of shampoo and conditioner.  I will repurchase as soon as I’m rich.

Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment (Sephora, $19.50)  I LOVE this stuff!  In the jar, it has the consistency of a lip balm, but in your hands, it melts down to an oil that you work through your hair.   The directions say to leave it in for 20 minutes, but I always leave it in for a few hours.  It rinses out easily in one shampoo, and leaves hair super soft and shiny.  It also does a great job of reducing frizz, and the effects last for a few days.  I have already repurchased.

December 2013 Empties 4

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream (Sephora, $15)  This was a really nice hand cream.  It is very moisturizing without being greasy, and has a light grapefruity scent.  I would definitely repurchase.

Nivea Renewal Hand Cream (Drugstores, $5-6?) This has been in the bottom of my purse forever, but it’s not really great for on the go moisture.  The lotion is nice and has a nice calming scent, but it leaves hands super greasy.  I am so glad to have this out of my purse and finally be done with it.  I doubt I’ll repurchase.

Zoya Remove+ (Zoya, $4.60-$25)  I reviewed this along with the Zoya Color Lock System here, and I still maintain this is the best nail polish remover ever.  I have used this before, and still have another small bottle left, I am going to try making my own, but would definitely repurchase.

Josie Maran Bare Naked Nail Wipes (Sephora, $9)  Another one that’s not actually an empty, but I am tossing them.  I got these along with the Whipped Argan Oil Hand Cream during Sephora’s Black Friday Sale, and bought 2 sets cause I knew I would love the hand cream, though I was interested in trying the nail wipes as well.  And I absolutely hate them.  They are supposed to remove polish while keeping nails and cuticles moisturized.  They do remove polish, and they certainly deliver on the moisture front.  The oil doesn’t feel nice on skin, and so much of it is left behind, I felt the need to wash it off right away instead of letting it soak in, completely defeating the purpose of these.  Plus, $9 for 20 wipes is super expensive, and as someone who changes her polish almost daily, completely impractical.  I gave my second set to my sister to try out, and she hated them as well.

Northern Star Cuticle Oil

Northern Star is an indie polish company, and while I have yet to try out any of their polishes, I did recently pick up a couple cuticle oils.  As soon as I saw they had a pumpkin spice scented oil, I had to have it.


I purchased a cuticle oil in Spiced Pumpkin and one in Absinthe.  They shipped amazingly quick, and were packaged beautifully.  The bottles were wrapped in holiday paper, with snowflake confetti in the box, and an extra cuticle oil!  The cuticle oils come in a 10 mL bottle (super affordable at only $3!)  with a doe foot applicator, like a lip gloss.  I wasn’t sure about the packaging at first, it seemed like it had the potential to be a mess.  But after using it, I love the packaging.  There is no extra oil on the wand, and just enough soaks into the applicator.  Plus, its small enough to fit around your nails and unlike a brush, it puts the oil exactly where you want it.

Northern Star cuticle oils contain olive oil, glycerin, almond oil, grapeseed oil, and fragrance.  The oil itself absorbs pretty quickly and is very moisturizing.  The scents are amazing, and they last long after the oil has absorbed.  Pumpkin spice is amazing, and the scent is exactly what it should be.  I had no idea what absinthe was going to smell like, but ordered it because it sounded cool.  It has a lighter scent than pumpkin spice, and is a sweet, candy-like smell.

You can buy Northern Star on Etsy, although the shop is currently closed for the holidays.  You can also find them on Facebook.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Intensive Hand Cream

Josie Maran Argan Oil Whipped Hand Cream


I am a huge fan of Josie Maran and Argan Oil, particulary the Infinity Cream Oil.  So when I saw this as one of Sephora’s Black Friday $10 deals, I picked up 2!   I am always on the lookout for great hand creams, and Josie Maran’s  Whipped Argan Oil Intensive Hand Cream has officially earned a spot in my manicure bag.

Most importantly, this hand cream is super moisturizing.  It soaks in quickly, leaving hands feeling soft by delivering long lasting moisture with no sign of greasiness.  I especially love this for work, since I don’t have a lot of opportunity to reapply hand cream, and my hands often dry out quickly.  The Intensive Hand Cream keeps hands, and cuticles moisturized and I’m sure the Argan oil is great for nail health, as well!

The only thing I don’t like is the scent.  According to the product description, it is scented with a “natural vanilla apricot fragrance.”  Maybe I’m just not a fan of apricot (I’m not.) but the scent does linger for quite a while.  However, the cream is brilliant enough that I’m willing to overlook the scent, and just hope that other options will be available in the future.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Intensive Hand Cream is available from Sephora, a 2.37 ounce tube will set you back $22.

Caudalie Lip Conditioner

Caudalie Lip Conditioner


I pretty much have my lip care routine figured out.  Jack Black throughout the day, and Fresh Sugar overnight.  This works for me, and unlike most other areas, I do not feel the need to change this up.  So when I bought the Caudalie hand cream and lip balm set during Sephora’s Black Friday, I was buying it mostly for the hand cream.

So I was pleasantly surprise to find that I actually really enjoy Caudalie’s Lip Conditioner.  It does remind me a lot of Fresh Sugar, but it is much more lightweight.  It is very moisturizing and it lasts well through the day, I only feel the need to reapply after eating/drinking.  If I apply this before bed, it lasts through the night and I wake up with soft, moisturized lips.  It does not really have a smell or taste, and at almost half the price, there is a good chance that I will repurchase this over Fresh Sugar.

You can find Caudalie Lip Conditioner at Sephora for $12.