A New Day

Taking a look at all of the things I've been missing

Use It: Summer 2020 Empties (part 2)

So here we are… back to my pile of empties from summer. Sitting down and typing out my thoughts is just so exhausting. Maybe it’s isolation brain, who knows. I also realize that in some instances, I’m just going through the rote motion of doing things – wake up, shower, put on moisturizer, go to work… let me be clear I basically move from my bedroom to another room in my house to work remotely for 9 hours a day. There’s not a lot happening over here.

However, as I said I did use up a handful of other products amidst the summer skincare cleanup of 2020.

Bath and Body Works Lemon Pomegranate Cream Shea Butter Body Scrub – this was great – crushed walnut shells provided a gentle exfoliant that wasn’t too harsh on my skin. It was moisturizing and cleansing – all the things I want in a product. The scent is this sweet lemon, but not overly sweet. It smells like a tasty baked good. Sadly, this is a limited-edition item from long ago. If they bring it back, I’m buying more. Paid $12 for 6oz.

Bath and Body Works PocketBac in Champagne Toast – I use tons of hand sanitizer these days. Why not make it fun? This works better as a candle scent, but I’d still buy it again. Available at Bath and Body Works (seasonal) for $1.95 for 1oz.

Benefit They’re Real Beyond Mascara – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this mascara is ridiculously good. I love the applicator and the formula, which lasts all day and then some. I feel like this gives the me volume I need with a just a couple coats. You can take this one super dramatic really quickly though, which is a plus! The only downside is that it’s so hard to remove. I’ll let that one slide. Available at Ulta for $13 for 0.14oz.

Biolage Color Last Shampoo – this is probably one of my favorite shampoos. I have used it off and on for years – not sure why I ever stop other than the fact I have a ton of products hoarded away. It cleans away oil and days of dry shampoo while not stripping away color. My hair always looks and feels amazing after using this. Available at Ulta for $20 for 13.5oz.

Calvin Klein CK2 – this is a fun summer scent. The top notes are light, bright citrus with a base of darker woody tones. It lasts for a couple hours before fading off. As a 90’s CK fan this brings a bit of nostalgia, while pushing the CK range a bit further. Fun, but wouldn’t purchase.

Dashing Diva Ultra Shine Gel Palette – I was so excited to get these in a recent Allure box! I was quickly disappointed by the difficulty I had with the application and wear. The taupe base color would not stick evenly and no matter what I did, it would crease at the top. The applique stickers went on perfectly and stayed on for a couple days before lifting at the cuticle and ultimately being removed. I don’t know how anyone could wear these for 14 days… The highlight of the set was the nail file. I’ll keep using that for sure. Definitely won’t repurchase. Available at Target for $6.99.

Kiehl’s Superbly Efficient Antiperspirant and Deodorant Cream – such a long title… this is my go-to deodorant and has been for years. I will use this until it stops being effective or they cease production, whichever comes first. Available at Kiehl’s for $22 for 2.5oz.

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Sugar Frost – I have been using a ton of cream products throughout quarantine – they help create a quick, easy makeup look that lasts all day. This was one of my favorites and sadly it ran out. It is a lovely, sheer gold shade with light shimmer. I would consider repurchasing, but I do have a ton of other lighter cream shadows that I need to use up. Available at Nordstrom for $29 for 0.05oz.

L’Occitane Hand Cream in Cherry Blossom – this is a fine hand cream – it is lightweight and absorbs quickly. The scent is really nice, but doesn’t pair well with any of the body products I’m currently using. It’s a bit strong and lingers for quite a while. Also, I don’t find it to be as nourishing as the Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, so would probably not go out of my way to buy more. Just as I finished this up, more magically appeared in my hand cream stash… how? Where did they come from? Available at L’Occitane for $12 for 1oz.

Milk Makeup Kush Lip Balm in Green Dragon – ooooh, this is NICE! It is incredibly hydrating without leaving my lips feeling slippery or waxy. It has a really pleasant scent that fades quickly and a slight mint flavor. I loved this so much I dug out every last bit. I have already repurchased this but in one of the tinted shades. Available at Sephora for $16 for 0.10oz.

Nivea Moisture Lip Care – this is a plain old lip balm. And if you put it side by side with the Green Dragon, it has NOTHING on it. This does leave my lips a bit waxy and does not go well under lipstick, so I really only used this before bed. I would probably not repurchase – I have so many plain lip balms that I don’t need to go out of my way to find this again. Available at CVS for $3.19 for 0.17oz.

Shiseido Facial Cotton – I do not typically get sucked into stuff like this (believe it or not…), but some influencer got me. I hate to admit that they were right and these are really good. I thought the regular $2 bag of cotton balls were fine until I started using them. I split them into 4 and use to take off stubborn eye makeup or liquid lipstick and no longer get clumps of cotton stuck in my lashes or on my face. I bought several packages when I found them hidden on a shelf at T.J. Maxx and have zero regrets. Available at Sephora for $5 for 40 sheets, or if you are lucky for $3.99 at T.J. Maxx. Ha!

Here is the breakdown for the year to date:
Skincare: 19
Body: 17
Hair: 8
Makeup/face: 11
other: 3
Nails: 2
Samples: 1
Sheet masks: 2
Total Products used: 63

Post total: $144.13

2020 Total: $1,137.33

There you have it – finally through the ridiculous backlog. Stay tuned for September soon!

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Use It: Summer 2020 Empties

Hello everyone!

I hope the last few weeks have been good to you. Things here are all just blurring together. We are still mainly staying home and it is looking like I will be working remotely through the rest of the year. In a few more months, I may be a complete hermit. I don’t totally hate that.

Over the last few months I have been plowing through skincare. I mentioned previously that I have been very deliberate about trying to use up a lot of open items, but I’m also trying to clean out my sample stash and some older things that have been awaiting their turn, unopened in the cabinet. While I have made some great progress, I was also sent a couple new items to test out and it really threw me off. But let me be clear – I love trying these things… please don’t stop sending 😊

Since I’ve been so slow to get this written, I wanted to focus this post specifically on the skincare items I have finished up over the last couple months. To help break this up a bit, I will sort out by morning and evening products.

A.M. Skincare

Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate – this is one of my favorite serums – it is incredibly hydrating and brightening, while leaving an oil-free finish. Even when I’m not well rested or maybe drank too much the night before (oops), I feel like this serum recharges my skin unlike any other product I’ve tried. I currently have a ton of serums to use up, but I will be repurchasing this one once my stash decreases a bit. Available at Kiehl’s for $52 for 1oz.

Patchology Wink Wink FlashPatch Eye Gels – ooh these are nice! But aren’t all cooling gel patches nice? When you are dealing with allergies or had a good cry, gel patches depuff and cool the irritated area. This version includes the am and pm version and came in individually wrapped packs (2 per pack) enclosed in a plastic holder. It seems like an awful lot of packaging. I didn’t notice a difference between am and pm though. I liked these, but I know I can find a better value. Available at Ulta for $14 (set of 2)

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum – my skin just loves Vitamin C! It loves it even more when used the morning after a retinol treatment. I feel like Vitamin C is something everyone can benefit from – it brightens and provides a ton of antioxidants. It is unfortunately not very stable and the shelf life for these products can be short. The Perricone products come in a dark bottle as to minimize light and help the stability. This was sent to me from Influenster. Not sure if I would purchase again, as I might try to find a less expensive option. Available at Sephora for $69 for 1oz.

Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks (2) – these are fancy eye masks… they are a serum drenched fabric with an external gold foil. The claim is that the gold foil “helps retain heat and prevents evaporation allowing the maximum amount of serum to penetrate skin.” Sure – that seems accurate. These are more for tired eyes or dry undereye spots – if you need a depuffing product, see the gel patches above. I had a couple individual packs lying around and used those up, but I went ahead and splurged on the full box. Available at Sephora for $25 for 6 pair.

P.M. Skincare

Belif Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist – this is a really nice cleanser that is exactly what the name says it is. It is gentle and non-drying, dedicated to normal to dry skin. Is there anything exceptional about this? No. Would I purchase again? Probably not. There are so many other cleansers I enjoy more at the same price point or less. Available at Sephora for $26 for 5.4oz.

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb – previous notes apply. It’s fine. Available at Sephora for $22 for 0.84oz.

Marcelle Gentle Make-Up Remover – I hate this. As you can tell, I gave it a really good try – 2/3 of the bottle or so. This didn’t so much as remove my makeup as it smeared it all over my face. If I have to follow up with a micellar water, what’s the point? If you want to purchase a shitty eye makeup remover, head on over to Birchbox where you can waste $17 on 5oz.

Organic Skincare Doctor Organic Rose Otto Night Cream – there is something really beautiful about this product. I loved the smell, texture and feeling of this moisturizer. It’s a bit of a thicker balm, so definitely much better for the cold, drier months. This showed up as an add on in some subscription box at some point and then I saw it in my local CVS, but the only place I could find available in the US was on Amazon. It is worth the hunt and looks to be about $12 for 1.7oz.

Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Fix – this is a fantastic high-powered nighttime eye treatment. I have been a long-time fan of Philosophy’s eye products – they work so incredibly well. This little bottle goes a very long way – I find this to be very concentrated and a half pump is plenty for both eyes. There was a noticeable difference in fine lines after just a couple weeks. I would have already repurchased another variation of this. Available at Philosophy for $68 for 0.5oz.

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes – again, the name says it all. These are my favorite makeup wipe out there. I typically only use to remove masks and for travel (if we ever do that again) instead of a bottle of micellar water. I have a massive stockpile. Available at Target for $5.79 for 25 wipes (or stakeout your local T.J. Maxx for much less).

Here is the breakdown for the year to date: 260.11
Skincare: 19
Body: 14
Hair: 7
Makeup/face: 7
other: 1
Nails: 1
Samples: 0
Sheet masks: 1
Total Products used: 50

Post total: $260.11

2020 Total: $993.20

I had no intention of waiting so long to post this, but life is still weird and I’m trying to find motivation to get some of the smallest things accomplished. I know I am not the only one who is struggling with this right now.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this batch of trash.

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Use It: May 2020 Empties

Happy July, everyone!

How’s everyone holding up? It has been such a very strange few months – everything is kind of blurring together and the days and months are just ebbing into one. Being at home has become very routine and while I don’t hate it, do miss traveling and spending time with friends and family in person.

While I’ve been home, I’ve made serious efforts to use up a lot of products and scale back on the number of things I have open at any given time. You will see between the June and the upcoming June empties that I’ve used up quite a few skincare products. The hope is to use up a bunch of things in my stash, which has also been easier because I am not going out and not being tempted by grabbing new, shiny things at stores.

So with all of that being said, here are my quick thoughts:

SKIN CARE

Garnier All-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water – this is probably one of the best micellar waters I have used to date. This easily removes the most stubborn eye makeup or lip color without leaving my skin feeling overly dry. It also works as a quick refresh for any eye makeup that has migrated throughout the day – just dampen a q-tip with it and swipe under lashes. I’ve heard some people say that this leaves almost a soapy feel on their skin, but I have to disagree as I have never noticed residue. At this price point, I would absolutely repurchase. There is a ton of product and a little bit goes a long way. Available at Ulta for $8.99 for 13.5oz.

Guerlain Abeille Royale Eye Sculpt Serum – this is by far the fanciest face product I have ever purchased. The applicator is coated with 22k gold. Ridiculous. But let me tell you – when you apply this serum with the cool applicator, it feels really amazing. Guerlain provides step by step instructions on how to get the best lift in problem areas. This lasted far longer than I ever thought it would, so in that sense, I feel like it was a great value for a very effective product. Would I purchase again? Ehhhhh… maybe? See my notes below about the Ordinary Caffeine Solution… Available at Saks for $130 for 0.5oz.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater – this smells lovely, but that’s really the only thing I can say about it. As for all of the hype – I don’t get it. This is cooling and refreshing but it doesn’t do anything magical. Would not repurchase. Available at Ulta for $7 for 4 oz.

Murad Essential-C Toner – this toner, on the other hand felt refreshing and hydrating. I did pair it with a vitamin C serum, so I cannot speak to how effective it is to brighten on its own. This was a great morning toner also – the bright citrus scent would always help perk me up. I might repurchase this again – the price has me on the fence. Available at Sephora for $35 for 6oz.

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% – I used this opposite of the Guerlain and applied before bed. It certainly was not effective, but it did help me depuff the eye area after a long day. This formula is a little thick, but absorbs quickly and is soothing and cooling. My skin felt better after application and I feel like it helped absorb retinoids better. I did not use this during the day so can’t speak to the effectiveness on dark circles, but I would certainly add this back into my daily routine. At this price point, it’s a no brainer. Available at Sephora for $6.70 for 1oz.

MAKEUP

Maybelline The Falsies in Very Black – I picked this up on a whim when I was traveling (back when we could do that) and forgot my mascara at home. Maybelline consistently makes great mascara and this said it would give me volume. Perfect. While I did not love the curved brush applicator, I did really like the formula. It did not clump even when I decided to big with multiple layers and lasted all day without flaking off. The Very Black shade was also perfect – I have very light lashes and wear glasses so am always looking to add a bit of drama. Would definitely repurchase. Available at Target for $6.99 for 0.25oz.

Murad MattEffect Blotting Perfector – I don’t know if this goes under skincare or makeup, but I use it as more of a makeup product so we will put it here! This is great during hot, humid weather. I like to use some blotting papers to absorb extra oil, use a cooling facial mist and after it dries, pat this on just as you would a powder. After it sets, I do like to do a quick swipe of pressed powder – since it is liquid, it does shift thinner sections of foundation in the T-zone. I bought a bunch of these during a FabFitFun sale, but I would buy them at full price down the road. Available at Sephora for $39 for 0.4oz.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – yes – I am not only wearing eyeshadow, but I’m also wearing primer at home. Whatever. I also really don’t like going without eye makeup, especially on video calls because I feel like I look sickly. See note above about blonde lashes. This is the OG shadow primer and one of the best sellers out there for a reason. When you use this, your shadow does not budge. I have kind of greasy lids and this has always held stuff in place. Absolutely repurchase. Available at Ulta for $24 for 0.33oz.

BODY

Nivea Crème – this is just a smaller version of the big bottle I finished last month. Since it was a smaller package, I just tossed it in a bag to use as hand cream. As I mentioned before, it’s fine, I’d buy again. This was part of a holiday set purchased a while back. Approximate value – $2 for 2 oz.

Philosophy Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion – I love the Amazing Grace scent – it’s really light, long lasting and can be paired or layered easily with other scents. I didn’t notice anything firming, but it was definitely hydrating. I have a few more of these travel/GWP sizes and look forward to using them! Full size available at Macy’s for $26 for 8oz. 

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

The Body Shop Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil – this is a very thick almond oil cuticle hydrator. The applicator is one of those twist bottoms with a brush on top and you never get the right amount that you need. It is always not enough or way too much and it goes everywhere. As it heats up, the oil spreads a LOT and gets all over your hands. It’s just too messy for me to enjoy, but if go for it if that is your thing. Available at The Body Shop for $12 for 0.06oz.

Stay tuned for even more skincare in the June wrap up – I’m clearing it all out, folks!

Here is the breakdown for the year to date:
Skincare: 9
Body: 14
Hair: 7
Makeup/face: 7
other: 1
Nails: 1
Samples: 0
Sheet masks: 1
Total Products used: 40

Monthly total: $274.93

2020 Total: $733.09

What did you use up this month? Any favorites?

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Use It: April 2020 Empties

Hello everyone!

I’ve had this draft sitting here for 3 weeks because I initially forgot one of the items. I have no idea why it took me so long to write 2 sentences about it. These are very strange times and my brain is a bit fuzzy. But I’m getting it done just in time to write up my May empties. Go figure.

Here we go:

SKIN CARE

SkinCeuticals Reservatrol B E – oh man. My skin loves this stuff… like really, REALLY loves this. I almost pulled the trigger on buying the full size and as I reached toward the bottle, I swear there was some sort of lighting bolt that came and zapped me into my right mind. This is an incredibly hydrating gel treatment that is like nothing else I’ve ever tried. After cleansing and toning, I apply a thin layer all over my face and let dry before applying a night cream. In the morning, my skin looks amazing – hydrated, plump, visible reduction in fine lines and pores and noticeably less oil than other nighttime treatments. Guys, I may have to break down and but this stuff… Available at Dermstore for $153 for 1oz. 

Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream – now this one, I’m not so sure. I grabbed this out of my stash during colder weather when my day cream was not cutting it. During that time, it was great. It added some much needed moisture and protection during the cold, windy days. It is very emollient, applied smoothly and makeup applied well over it. As the day went on, I felt like my makeup tended to move around a lot more than normal. I didn’t feel greasy, but it created some strange sort of slip that even a primer couldn’t fix. Once the weather warmed up, I finished this up at night and it was fine. Once again, I feel like this is just another ho-hum Sunday Riley product. It’s fine. Am I going to seek it out? No. Full size available at Sephora for $65 for 1.7oz.  

MAKEUP

None

BODY

Kiehl’s Close Shavers Squadron Smooth Glider – this is hands down my favorite shave gel. It is an unscented, lightweight cream that prevents me from getting razor burn. I initially fell in love with the Blue Eagle, but Kiehl’s came out with this beauty. Yes, this is a men’s shave cream. I don’t care – it is magic. I have multiple backups of this and probably never need to buy them again. Available at Kiehl’s for $18 for 5oz.

L’Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream – this is a very nice hand cream… however, it almost seems like it absorbs too quickly and I immediately need more. There is sort of a residual greasy feeling, which doesn’t make sense! I have several minis around here and will be using them up soon. Available at L’Occitane for $12 for 1oz.  

L’Occitane Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil – now, THIS, on the other hand is gorgeous. I have always loved body oil, but never tried this oil cleanser. I’m definitely a convert. I was afraid that this would leave my skin greasy, but it was quite the opposite. I left even the hottest showers feeling incredibly clean and my skin felt smooth and hydrated. This is perfect for cold, dry weather. I still used a lotion or body oil afterwards just for that extra bit of moisture. Purchase again? Yes! Available at L’Occitane for $9.50 for 2.5oz.

Nest Moss and Mint Body Wash – this is the pair to the lotion that I finished a while back. Clearly I use a lot more lotion than cleanser. I won’t get into it because like I mentioned before, this seems to be discontinued. The shower gel itself was nice, but I know I can spend far less on something just as effective. Similar Nest products available for approximately $22.

Nivea Body Lotion  for Dry to Very Dry Skin – I decided to purchase an entire Nivea holiday gift set for myself at some point. It was on sale and it seemed like an incredible deal. I didn’t recall ever using many Nivea products aside from their gradual tanning lotion but figured it would be fine. And it was. This is a super thick almond oil lotion that left my skin feeling soft and hydrated. There was nothing spectacular about it, but honestly that is fine for a body lotion! It doesn’t need to do anything other than make my skin feel not chapped. Repurchase? Sure – I love a good product at a decent price. Available at Target for $5.49 for 16.9oz.

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Silk Body Butter – ohhhkay, and then there is this. I don’t get the hype. This is a very nice herbal scented lotion that leaves my skin feeling soft. I cannot tell you that it does anything more for me than the lotion I just mentioned that is $5.49. Remember, all I want is my skin to have a bit of moisture. The full size is $48. This 1oz lotion is $12.

HAIR

John Frieda Frizz Ease Frizz-Immunity Primer – I believe this is another discontinued item – such a bummer. This is a great product to help reduce frizzies. Approximately $8.

Not Your Mother’s Royal Honey and Kalahari Desert Melon Dry Shampoo – that’s a very long name for “scented dry shampoo.” I didn’t get any honey or melon, but I did get a dry shampoo that performs so well. I’ve used another version of this in the past so was very excited to get this from Influenster a while back. I was alternating this with the Amika Perk Up that was reviewed last month. The performance is comparable for a few hours, the NYM lets some oil creep back in after 6 hours or so. I can easily get an extra day out between washes but can’t push it any further. I’d still buy again. Available at Ulta for about $10 for 7oz.

Rusk Color Protecting Leave-in Conditioner – here is what I can tell you about a leave in conditioner – I can tell if I do not use it. Does brand make a difference? Not that I can tell. So I’m not going to get all crazy about this – I got it on the sale rack at Ulta and it lasted me an eternity. I remember paying $5.99 for it.

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

TonyMoly Foot Peeling Shoes – I have used these several times and have had great success. This particular mask seemed a bit off. I’m not blaming the product, but maybe this particular batch. Save your cash on Baby Foot and buy this instead. Available at Ulta for $6.50.

Here is the breakdown for the year to date:
Skincare: 4
Body: 12
Hair: 7
Makeup/face: 4
other: 0
Nails: 1
Samples: 0
Sheet masks: 1
Total Products used: 29

Monthly total: $150.16

2020 Total: $458.16

Stay tuned for the next round which will be posted in the next few days!

Please stay safe and healthy!

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Use It: March 2020

Hello again, everyone!

How are you holding up? The last few weeks have been very surreal – there is so much going on around us that it is hard to take in everything and process it. I’m really trying not to watch too much news or what is on social media and just to focus what is happening in my state and my community. This may seem a bit short sighted, but this is the only way I won’t be completely consumed in the news and really focus on my mental health.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve really focused on finishing up a few key products that will appear in my March and April empties. Being stuck at home has really helped me open my eyes to my ridiculous surplus of products that need to be used up. I’ve started revisiting some samples too that will eventually appear with a mini review on my Instagram (@lvp8779).  But for this month, I’ll make this quick and easy and review all of my larger empties in alphabetical order:

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo – this has been a favorite for many years, I just hate to make the splurge. This full size came in a subscription box and I was over the moon! I love the texture and smell of this dry shampoo. It absorbs oil without drying out my scalp. I like to use this day 3 to get juuuust one more day between shampoos. I would definitely get this again. Available at Sephora for $25 for 5.3oz.

Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Crème – every time I get a sample from Amore Pacific, I fall a little more in love. And it’s a problem. This may be a sample, but it is a ridiculously indulgent sample. This feels like if I were to crush orchid petals and apply it to my face. It leaves my skin incredibly hydrated, smooth and glowy. Someday, I’m going to break down and actually buy a full size… but as I mentioned above, I need nothing. Available at Neiman Marcus for $150 for 1.7oz.  

Avène Body Oil – this is a brand that can do no wrong. I have tried a number of Avène products and have loved all of them (as far as I can remember!). This oil is for dry to very dry skin, so it is incredibly hydrating. It is a bit thick, which makes you think it would linger on the skin, however I find that it absorbs quickly and does not transfer to clothes. The scent does cling to my skin for several hours, which I love. It has this gorgeous scent that is so similar to the blackcurrant in Diptyque’s L’Ombre dans l’Eau, which I do pair with this. I would totally buy this. Available at BlueMercury for $26 for 3.3 oz.

First Aid Beauty Intense Therapy Ultra Repair Cream – this is a product I started using back when I was experiencing perioral dermatitis to help reduce inflammation. Since then, I have used this on everything from dry winter skin to sunburns. It calms angry skin and provides much needed hydration. I think I have a smaller container of this somewhere, if not, I will probably purchase soon. It works for everything! Available at Ulta for $34 for 6oz.

Goldwell Deep Reflects Conditioner – I used to get this at Ulta, but I think they stopped carrying the entire brand… Maybe you can find at Sally’s? I don’t want to get too deep into it if I can’t find this again. This is a really nice hydrating, color intensifying conditioner. Is it $20 good? Meh.

Julep Nail Color in Linnea – this is such a gorgeous mauvy-taupe with a bit of shimmer and dimension. UGH – WHY did this have to run out? While I’ve had this for ages, I only recently opened it and started using it.. I’ve been searching for a similar shade, but no luck. And who knows what’s going on with Julep these days – their status seems a bit unstable. If I could ever find it again, I would totally pay the $14.

Milk Makeup Kush Mascara – some people may say that I have become less adventurous in what I have been testing out over the last couple years. Well, maybe, but I also have a LOT of products hoarded away… I can tell you that I have tried several products my Milk and have loved them. This mascara gets some negative reviews, but not from me. I love everything about this mascara – the brush, formula, staying power. It is probably one of my all-time favorites. It applies perfectly every use, adding thickness and definition without clumping or smudging. I would buy this one of the full-size again in a second. Available at Sephora for $12 for 0.13oz. 

Here is the breakdown for the year to date:
Skincare: 2
Body: 6
Hair: 4
Makeup/face: 4
other: 0
Nails: 1
Samples: 0
Sheet masks: 0
Total Products used: 17

Monthly total: $135.03

2020 Total: $308.00

So there you have it, folks. Another round of empties in the books. It somehow felt like so much more when I started…

What did you finish this month? Any favorites? Things you couldn’t wait to finish?

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Use It: January and February 2020

Happy March, everyone!

Once again, time has gotten away from me… I guess it’s a good reason though – less time on the internet and a lot more time reading some books. Aren’t we all saying how we need to be less connected?

Once again, I’m breaking everything down by type: skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle/other. However, this month there is no “other” category. Most of these products were used up in January, maybe one or two in February. I anticipate finishing a lot more in March.

SKIN CARE

Julep Restorative Facial Milk – this was an interesting product – I never really felt like it was particularly hydrating or provided any unique benefit. I ended up using this a lot on my neck. The product started to separate so it’s a de-stash. I have no interest in repurchasing. Available at Julep.com for $28 for 1oz.

MAKEUP

Cover FX Mattefying Primer – believe it or not, this was the first Cover FX product I’ve tried. There are so many primers out there and this one really stood out. This applied easily and dried quickly with no pilling or creasing. My makeup glided perfectly over top and didn’t move all day. It definitely helped reduce oil and did a great job of keeping my face from getting shiny. I would definitely repurchase this! Full size available on the Cover FX website for $38 for 1oz. It looks like all of the brand is on sale on the Sephora website – I hope they are not discontinuing the line!

Maybelline Master Conceal in 10 Fair – this is one of my absolute favorite concealers. One small squeeze provides enough coverage for my entire undereye area and neutralizes the dark circles. This tube seems to have lasted forever – I definitely got my moneys worth! Repurchase? Of course! Available at Ulta for $8.99 for 0.4oz.

Wander Beauty Mile High Club Mascara – Wander has quickly become one of my favorite brands. I have really liked everything I’ve tried including skincare and makeup. This mascara is no exception. It has a tiny wand that really helps me get between the lashes and build the volume that I need. A couple coats create a dramatic look that lasts all day. It is difficult to remove, but that is my only complaint. I just received another in my Beautylish Lucky Bag so I’m very excited! Available at Sephora for $26 for 0.35oz.

BODY

Bliss Blood Orange and White Pepper Body Butter – so I have a ton of older Bliss products – they have the old packaging but have been sealed and stored properly. I will use all of them because I waste nothing!! Be prepared for an eternity of old packaging… It’s fine. I love this scent – it is citrus with a bit of spice. The pepper in the name is very deceiving. And the Bliss body butters are so hydrating and leave a light scent on your skin that lasts all day. I think I have more of this.. don’t need to buy! Available at Blissworld.com for $12 for 6.7oz.

Bliss Blood Orange and White Pepper Sugar Scrub – this is such a great, gentle scrub that leaves your skin soft and hydrated. I love a good body scrub but it seems like so many are way too harsh on my skin. This is the perfect level of grit for me. I am not sure if they still make the scrub in this scent, but I would definitely repurchase. Available at Blissworld.com for $20 for 10.6oz. (it used to be 11.6oz…)

Diptyque Phyloskos Shower Gel – contrary to the body lotion a couple posts back, this was a great shower gel. It was a thicker consistency that foamed up well. It left a light scent on my skin but it didn’t last more than a couple hours. I would probably not repurchase just for the price – would rather spend the money on the perfume that would last all day. Similar product available at Nordstrom for $42 for 6.8oz.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Cream – this was one of the products I posted about a while back that I always repurchase. With this, not only do I always repurchase it I usually have several backups. My hands are always dry and in the winter crack so easily. This is incredibly nourishing and absorbs quickly. Available at Kiehl’s for $23 for 5oz.

HAIR

L’Oréal Root Cover Up in Red – this is a frequent flier on the empties list. I use this regularly as my roots grow out between color treatments and can extend my salon appointments an additional couple weeks. I have at least 2-3 backups of this. Available at Ulta for $10.99 for 2oz.

Quantum Riveting Reds Color Replenishing Shampoo – this is an intense color depositing shampoo that I have to de-stash. This does a great job refreshing the deep red tones on my colored hair, however it does not clean my scalp as thoroughly as I need – by the end of the day my hair is a greasy mess. As much as I love the color boost, I’m also incredibly lazy and do not wish to wash my hair every day. Available at Sally Beauty for $9.99 for 10.2oz.

So there you have it, folks. Another pile of trash out the door.

Here is the breakdown for the year to date:
Skincare: 1
Body: 4
Hair: 2
Makeup/face: 3
other: 0
Nails: 0
Samples: 0
Sheet masks: 0
Total Products used: 10

2020 Total: $172.97

That’s all for the first two months! What were some of the things you used up so far this year? Any favorites?

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Use It: December 2019 Empties

Hello everyone!

Happy New Year to you all! This post was delayed because of the mystery plague that has been floating around – I have finally sort of recovered after 3 weeks of heavy napping between work and holiday things. What a shitty time of year to get sick.. Hopefully this post finds you all healthy!

Due to the smaller volume in December, I will just be posting alphabetically. Sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used. I really haven’t been using any samples, so as you can imagine my stash of assorted sample products is overflowing. I will try to get through a lot in the new year. Also, I still had a ton of empties that were hanging around from a while back and will just be breaking them down by whether or not I would consider repurchasing again.

Here we go:

Bath and Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gel in Copacabana Coconut – this smells like vacation! I always have some version of this anti-bac in my purse because the scents are fun and the packaging is super easy to use. I would definitely repurchase if I could find this scent again. Available at Bath and Body Works for $1.75 for 1oz.

ColourPop Brow Boss in Auburn – this is not auburn. It has a reddish hue, but is definitely not auburn. I was hoping that this would be a cheaper version of the Chella Awesome Auburn pencil, but it is much cooler toned. The formula is really nice – it is slightly waxy, goes on smoothly and stays put all day. I would repurchase in another shade. Available at Ulta for $5.50 for 0.003oz.

e-choice – this is a sleeping mask of the green tea variety. I have long lost the accompanying detail card and all of the packaging is in Korean. I don’t think I am a sleeping mask kind of gal… or maybe I am just using this wrong… I hate going to bed with a product that hasn’t completely absorbed into my skin. This ended up being a de-stash because I’ve had it open way too long. No clue where to find or how much it cost.

Kevin Aucoin The Curling Mascara in Black – I had a love-hate relationship with this mascara – it applied flawlessly and was very buildable. This formula was on the wet side so took a bit longer to dry, but never smudged or ran. It was, however, impossible to remove. I would use micellar water, a bi-phase makeup remover, face wash, face wipes… NOTHING WORKED. This would only come off when I was in the shower for whatever reason… and when it did, it fell off my lashes in clumps like a tubing mascara. It was so weird. So would I repurchase this? I don’t know… Available at Beautylish for $28 for 0.18oz.

L’Oreal Pure Clay Mask – I received this ages ago from Influenster, tested it out when I received it then shelved it for a while. I just couldn’t get excited about this. It is a clay mask but doesn’t absorb oil. I found that if I leave this on too long it stains my skin. This is just a no for me. Available at Ulta for $12.99 for 1.7oz.

Stila Sex Kitten Liquid Eyeliner – I really liked this liner – it has a really long tipped applicator that helps this go on like a dream. Sadly I didn’t snap the top on tight and it completely dried out. What a bummer! I would definitely purchase again. Available at Ulta for $20 for 00.47oz.

The Organic Pharmacy Antioxident Lip Balm – this lightweight balm is infused with shea butter and rose hip – two super emollient things that I just love. This layered well under lip products and stood up well alone for an overnight moisturizer. I would consider repurchasing if not for the price. Available at Dermstore for $21.50 for 7ml.

And now for the overdue items:

Things I would repurchase:

Bath and Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gel in Champagne Sparkle – for $1.75 for 1oz

Grace and Stella Anti-Wrinkle + Energizing Eye Masks – $21 for 6

Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale La Crème – full size available at Saks for $345??!!

L’Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinaire (color name unknown) – $8 for 0.18oz

MAC Fluidline in Chilled – $19 for 0.10oz

Mai Couture Bamboo Charcoal Blotting Papers – available on Amazon for $10 for 60 sheets

Ouai Scalp and Body Scrub – full size $38 for 8.8oz

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream – $32 for 0.5oz

Things I would consider repurchasing:

Belif Bergamot Herbal Extract Toner –  full size $28 for 6.75

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm – full size $102 for 1.7oz

Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara in Ultra Black – $14 for 0.19oz

Laura Mercier Crème Body Wash in Crème Brulee – 4-pack available for $34

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer – $24 for 8.5g

Things I will NOT repurchase:

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser – full size $24 for 6.75oz   2

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser – full size $35 for 5oz  7

Tocca Hand Cream in Bianca – $10 for 1.5oz

So here is the FINAL 2019 round up:

Here is the breakdown for the year to date:
Skincare: 29
Body: 11
Hair: 11
Makeup/face: 21
other: 4
Nails: 8
Samples: 0
Sheet masks: 2
Total Products used: 86
Monthly Total : $333.28

2019 Total: $1,569.87

WHEW!! That is a wrap on 2019! Is there anything you are looking forward to in 2020? Any products that you never want to see again?

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Use It: November 2019 Empties

Hello again, everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving (to all of those in the U.S.) and have been enjoying the holiday season. We have been enjoying a bit of snow and all of the holiday cookies!

Once again, I’m breaking everything down by type: skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle/other. Sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used. I really haven’t been using any samples, so as you can imagine my stash of assorted sample products is overflowing. I will try to get through some of those soon!

So here we go:

SKIN CARE

e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator – this is a de-stash item. I liked it at first, but it must have dried out a bit and it is just so harsh on my skin. I will probably not buy this again. Available at Target for $4 for 0.16oz.

Erno Lazlo Multi-Task Eye Serum Mask – oh this is really nice. I used these one morning that I had some exceptionally puffy eyes. Within 10 minutes, my eyes looked amazing – no dark circles, no puffiness… magic! Unfortunately, this is a brand that is just a bit too expensive for my wallet. A pack of 6 runs $38 and I just cannot justify that! However if another one were to show up in another subscription box, I would not complain!

Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 – this is a perfectly fine lip balm. It is lightweight and wears well under lipstick. However I don’t find it to be super hydrating or long lasting. For the price, I have higher expectations. Available at Kiehl’s for $9.50 for 0.5oz.

Perricone MD Cold Plasma – this is such a unique product. It is a thicker gel-like formula that melts into a serum. It feels really wonderful on my skin and absorbs immediately. Perricone does some really innovative things in skincare and I really like their products. Again, this is older packaging and I’m not 100% sure of what this is now, but I believe it is the Cold Plasma+ Serum Concentrate. Available at Sephora for $149 for 1oz.

Perricone MD Concentrated Restorative Treatment – as much as I liked the Cold Plasma, I disliked this. It smelled of cinnamon and left my pillow orange. I don’t really know what this did for my skin and I didn’t finish the jar. I believe this is now the Vitamin C Ester Overnight Treatment. Available at Sephora for $99 for 2 oz.

MAKEUP

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Youth Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation – I don’t know that I have ever had a bottle of foundation last so long… It truly never wanted to end and I think there might still be some in there… how is that possible? This is a beautiful, sheer foundation that is a bit buildable. It hides the flaws, but lets the freckles show. I really loved this foundation for the warmer months – it didn’t make my skin look too shiny and held up through the humidity. I purchased the shade 1 Fair and it was perfect for my skin tone. I would consider purchasing this again. Available at Nordstrom for $46 for 1.4oz.

BODY

Diptyque Phyloskos Body Lotion – I received this as a gift many moons ago and only recently opened it – I wonder if the formula broke down a bit. The scent was gorgeous, but the formula was a bit thin. Or maybe this is just how Diptyque lotion is? While I love the scent, I would probably not purchase the lotion. Similar product available at Nordstrom for $55 for 6.8oz.

Nest Body Cream in Moss and Mint – I loved this scent – it was clean and fresh and left a subtle scent throughout the day. The mint was not overpowering as it is with many scents. The lotion itself was thick and incredibly moisturizing. It worked so well on the really dry spots and left my skin feeling great. The body products in this scent have been discontinued – and that’s a darn shame. Similar Nest products available for approximately $55.

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

Deborah Lippman The Stripper – this is the most overpriced nail polish remover I’ve ever used. At the end of the day, it’s fine. Do I need to spend that kind of money on remover again? No. I will, however, keep this great pump and refill it. Available at Nordstrom for $19 for 4oz.

Formula X Nail Polish – one of the worst things to happen was Sephora getting rid of this nail polish line. This was a great formula and shade. Paid approximately $7.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat – I have used so many of these over the last few years. I’m sure I don’t need to keep talking about it. I am already using another bottle. Available at Ulta for $9.95 for 0.5oz.

Here is the breakdown for the year to date:
Skincare: 19
Body: 9
Hair: 3
Makeup/face: 20
other: 2
Nails: 8
Samples: 0
Sheet masks: 2
Total Products used: 63
Monthly Total : $423.08

2019 Total: $1,236.59

November was quite the month – lots of high value products in here! There are still a handful of random things that I want to talk account for before the end of the year, so stay tuned… there will be a couple more posts this month.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and enjoy your time with family and friends!

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Current Favorites

Hello, Hello!

I wanted to get a post out there that wasn’t about my trash… I mean, don’t worry, that is coming also… But I think it’s so important to talk about things that are on heavy rotation and why they’re in that number one spot. It’s been a while since I wrote one of these, so this post could probably go on for pages, however I will keep it short and sweet. I also know that no one wants to read that much.

So here we go:

I can’t get enough gel eye patches. If I’ve had a terrible nights sleep or my allergies are acting up, I slap on a couple of these after my shower and in minutes, my undereye area has gone from puffy to presentable. I have tried everything from Wander Beauty to Sephora brand to Patchology, and I have to say that all perform equally well. I buy whatever is on sale or is available as a FabFitFun add on.

L’Oreal Color Riche Shine and Plump and Shine lipsticks – first, they get you with the packaging… it reminds you of something from a decade long ago, but WAIT… it’s a super shiny, glossy, sheer lip shade. This summer I was on the hunt for the perfect sheer, orange lipstick and found a winner with Nectarine Plump. Then I went down a rabbit hole and found one of the most perfect and beautiful nudes ever in Glossy Fawn. I recently picked up Sparkling Rose and Dazzling Doe, but have only swatched them so far. These lip products are not only beautiful, but they are hydrating, buildable and last for hours. I want them ALL!

What are some of your current favorites?

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Use It: October 2019 Empties

Hello again!

Can you believe it? I’m posting something in a timely manner… holy moly. I feel like I finally have my life together a bit more and am getting caught up on a ton of stuff at home. Thank goodness!

October was a busy product month – I was not on shocked how many things I finished up, but how many of these things were products I really loved.

I’m going back to my old method and be breaking everything down by type: skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle/other. Sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used.

SKINCARE

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes – I know that makeup wipes are bad for your skin… whatever. I use them to take off thick masks so my face cloths don’t get ruined and to use as a first step for removing makeup when traveling. They aren’t the only step – that’s just ridiculous. I already purchased a few more packs – I found a bunch at TJ Maxx and filled up my cart. Available at Target for $4.49 for 25 wipes.

StriVectin Advanced Retinol Eye Cream – this little tube lasted forever! My skin loves retinol and responds incredibly well. I hate the price, but know it really works. I would probably repurchase this – I have a couple other things to use up. Available at Ulta for $75 for 0.5oz.

MAKEUP

E.L.F Blotting Sheets – there is a reason that these are like $1 – they were much smaller than some of the other sheets I prefer and also a lot thinner. These didn’t seem to be very absorbent, so I had to use 3-4 every day. I would not repurchase these, however I bought a ton of them because… well, they were $1.

Givenchy Volume Disturbia Mascara – oh man.. where do I start? The formula is good – super black pigmentation that is very wet. It takes a while to dry, but the end result is incredibly dramatic. The problem is the wand – it has the shortest, little nubby spikes on it that cause significant clumping. You need something like the mascara below to help separate and define the lashes. With a better wand, this could be a truly excellent mascara. Unfortunately, it really falls short. This was received through Influenster, and would probably not purchase. Available at Sephora for $27 for 0.28oz.

L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara in Black – such a great product! This is everything I ask for in a mascara. I don’t need length – I need my incredibly light lashes to pop and need volume. This separates and thickens each lash so well. I would repurchase again and again. Available at Ulta for $7.99.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – this is not the first appearance in an empties post – when I get these in subscription boxes, I use until they are dry. I keep going back and forth about Kat… and it impacts my feelings on buying her products. Let’s put it this way, I like her stuff and I will use it… but I’m not rushing out to give her my money these days. Some day, I may be caught in a weak moment and actually buy something again. Full size available at Sephora for $20 for 0.019 oz.

BODY

Bath and Body Works Stress Relief Moisturizing Body Cream – I have serious sleep issues and use everything from aromatherapy to a prescription medication to conquer it. Some of my favorite things for a more holistic approach are from the Stress Relief line. This lotion is very hydrating and the scent lasts for a long time. I was using it for a hand cream, but it just isn’t moisturizing enough for my constantly cracked, dry hands. I would buy this again, but only to use as a body lotion. Available at Bath and Body Works for $15.50 for 8oz.

Lush The Comforter Shower Cream – this was a lovely, warm bergamot and cassis scent. Sadly, the scent was not long lasting. There are a ton of great products at Lush that I would probably repurchase before this one. Seasonal scent available at Lush for $11.95 for 3.3.oz.

HAIR

Living Proof Night Cap – I don’t get it. This just makes my hair feel gross and I hate how it makes my hair feel on my pillow. No thanks. Approximate value – $7.50 for 1oz.

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

Color Club Nail Color in Pret-A-Pink – this is a beautiful light pink shade. This was a bit sheer, so you definitely needed 2, sometimes 3 coats and a topcoat. Typical wear was 4-5 days without chipping or peeling. I originally got this through Birchbox, but can’t really seem to find where to buy now – maybe Walmart? Approximate value – $6.44 for 0.5oz.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in Naked – the color is pretty self explanatory, right?  It’s a taupe/tan/café au lait shade that went on evenly and covered flawlessly in 2 coats. Sadly, this was a mini in a set and was used up pretty quickly. I would definitely repurchase this. Available at Nordstrom for $17 for full size.

Here is the breakdown for the year to date:

Skincare: 14

Body: 7

Hair: 3

Makeup/face: 19

other: 2

Nails: 5

Samples: 0

Sheet masks: 2

Total Products used: 52

Monthly Total : $175.37

2019 Total: $813.51

So there you have it – more trashy reading. 🙂 I personally love reading empties posts and I hope you do too. If not, you may want to pass on the next couple posts!

Have a great week!

 

 

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