A New Day

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

Use It: April 2017 Empties

Hello again, everyone!

What a crazy, crazy month! I know – it is so boring to say that… but this month flew by.  We are nearing the end of construction in our bathroom FINALLY. Throughout the construction, I have been using really minimal version of my daily routine… for what seems like forever at this point. But it has really helped me focus on using up a few things – deluxe samples, full size.. the whole deal.

So here we goooo! This was a fairly productive month, so I’ll 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.

SKIN CARE

Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream – in theory, this is great. It is a hydrating, light reflecting moisturizer that diminishes under eye circles. It’s an all-natural product, chock full of hyaluronic acid and light reflecting particles… Ok – what is the down side?? It actually did nothing for my skin – it was all smoke and mirrors. The tint was just a bit too dark for my skin tone and it didn’t actually have any long-term brightening effect. I didn’t finish all of this and wasn’t really interested in purchasing. Available on Birchbox.com for 0.34oz.

Kate Somerville Hydrating Firming Mist – did not firm, was not overly hydrating. I didn’t really enjoy this. Bummer. But for those KS die-hards, you can purchase the full-size at Sephora for $48 for 4oz.

Murad Renewing Cleansing Cream – this was a very dense, creamy cleanser. It was a bit harsh for my eyes, so had to use a different cleanser. I would recommend as a follow up to an oil or balm cleanser, but did not find it thorough enough to remove everything on the first try. This would be much better for mature or dry skin. This was not my favorite Murad product and I would probably not purchase. Full-size available at Ulta or Sephora for $38 for 6.75oz.

 

 

Perricone MD Photo Plasma Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – this was a great moisturizer – it was hydrating during the cold months and light enough for the summer months. I loved the high SPF and found it really took great care of my skin. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Sephora for $75 for 2 oz.

Vichy Liftactiv Supreme – this was received through an Influenster box a while back – I received this and a serum, which I ultimately went and purchased a full-size of! This was an excellent moisturizer and a great introduction into the brand. I definitely want to explore more and would definitely consider purchasing. Full size is available at Ulta for $42 for 1.7oz.

Vichy 3 in 1 One Step Cleansing Micellar Solution – another Vichy freebie! This one was a gift from the company through an Instagram contest. Seriously – I was thrilled! This is a really great formula – very gentle and removes makeup so quickly and easily. I actually have a backup of this, but down the road I would definitely repurchase. Full-size available at Ulta for $14.50 for 6.8oz.

MAKEUP

 

 

Buxom Vanity Lash Mascara – this is a really flimsy wand. I get that Buxom wants to offer options as far as the wand, but I cannot get behind this one. This bent so much during application that I cannot actually speak to the formula of the mascara because I cannot apply it well. I think Buxom has a lot of great products – this is just not one of them. Full-size available at Sephora for $20 for 0.37oz.

BODY

 

 

Aveda Hand Relief Night Renewal Serum – this was a great addition to my daily hand treatment. I used this day and night and liked the additional boost it gave with my regular hand cream. This was really great during the winter months. Would definitely repurchase. Available at Aveda for $35 for 1oz.

Kiehl’s Crème de Corps – still not a fan. Am I the only one who does not love this? I think I’m in the minority. I used this at night on my hands.. whatever. Available at Kiehl’s for $11 for 2.5oz.

HAIR

Aloxxi Firm Hold Hairpray – this is a very firm hold at first, but then starts to break down after a couple hours. I’m not a big hairspray user so… I received this through Birchbox and I can’t find this version on the website anymore. It’s not worth hunting down.

 

 

Cricket Static Free Fast Flo Brush (1.5in) – I’ve had this brush for like 6 years and it is completely falling apart. It no longer eliminates static and the brush tips have started falling off. But I love it and have already replaced it! Available at Ulta for $7.49

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (x2) – I’m pretty sure I reviewed this before and I was not impressed. It says it’s for normal hair, but I think this is more for fine hair – I have lots of hair and this just gets lost. I don’t feel like this works beyond a few hours for me. Full size available on Birchbox for $20 for 3.2oz.

LIFESTYLE/Other

 

 

Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in Lady is a Tramp – can I just point out that I used a whole bottle of Deborah Lippman polish? These are 0.5oz bottles so this is quite a feat! This is a crème pink-toned red that was semi-opaque. I needed 2-3 coats to assure there was no streaking or thinner spots. I would definitely like to try out more shades – this formula is fantastic! Available at Nordstrom for $18.

Julep Crème Color in Vicki – hot, hot pink! Whoa! This is an obnoxious, but great spring/summer color. Sadly, this bottle broke down and got really clumpy. I couldn’t salvage it! I couldn’t find this on the website, but there are some other really similar colors and sooo many others available for $14 at Julep.com.

Saint Augustine and Suds Tonka Whiskey Leather Candle – this is so good. Oh man. Can I bottle this and wear it? I love this combination – it is amazing. I bought several of these so there will be no running out! More scents available seasonally at Saintaugustineandsuds.com for $12.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat – this dries super fast and makes any shade look super glossy. I’ve gone through a few of these now and I think it’s definitely reached permanent status in my stash. Available at Ulta for $9.95.

Total products used 2017:

Skincare: 15

Body: 7

Hair: 11

Makeup/face: 5

other: 5

Nails: 5

Samples: 5

Sheet masks: 1

Month total: $242.44   (approximately)

Year total: $580.19

In keeping with the past few months of tracking my low-buy behavior, I will sadly share my inevitable derailment. Thanks Sephora VIB sale… Also, there is so much amazing new stuff out that I threw up my hands and totally caved:

VIB Sale:

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo – FULL SIZE! $23 for 3.5oz

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino EDP 1oz – $145

Deduct 15% and a $10 Shopkick gift card… I also used a $100 gift card from work. This ended up costing about $40 total out of pocket.

Ulta trip… not with 20% off… oops…

Monthly Brow Bar visit – $21 -but I don’t count this in my monthly low-buy tracking!

Benefit Cheek Parade – $58.00 for 5 full size cheek colors!

Cotton balls – $1.99 I don’t count this either!

Cricket Static Free Fast Flo Brush – $5.39 on sale!

NYX Blotting Tissue – buy one get one 50% – $3.99 each

Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat – $9.95

Tony Moly Fresh Cleansing Tissue – $8.50 (5x points!)

Ulta Nail Polish Remover – $2.49

Total – $120 (ish) – minus $3.50 coupon and $35 gift card. Actual out of pocket expense $87. Subtract Brow Bar visit= about $62

Total spent in April – just over $100 out of pocket. Not bad! My wine spending however… yikes! Good thing this is a beauty blog and not a wine blog, right?

There you have another month of empties. What did you use up this month? Any favorites?

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Use It: March 2017 Empties

Hi there!

Another month has flown by! As I mentioned briefly in my previous empties post, we started a major bathroom renovation at the end of February/beginning of March. This completely consumed my time – blogging has not even been on the radar. The project is mostly finished… it has been just the absolute worst. Remind me never to do another home improvement project!

This was a very productive month as far as using up things in my stash – I was living pretty minimally which helped me focus on using some things up also. Due to the volume, I’m going back to 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.

SKIN CARE

 

 

Guerlain Orchidée Impériale The Toner – sigh. I still love this so much. This leaves my skin feeling so amazing. Full size available at Saks for $135 for 4.2oz.

Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner – I purchased this originally for a face mist, but found it to work so much better as the first step of my morning skin care. After using a gentle cleanser or scrub, I used several pumps to spray evenly over my face. I found this gentle and refreshing without being too drying or creating more oil. I would definitely repurchase this again! Available at Lush for $10.95 for 3.3oz.

MAKEUP

L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara in Black – this arrived in an Allure box a while back and I kept stalling on using this. Shame on me – this is fantastic. I already have very long lashes that constantly hit my glasses, so I am always looking for a mascara that can add volume over length. My lashes are very light so I really like a pure black mascara to help my lashes pop behind my glasses. This added a lot of definition without feeling heavy. I would absolutely buy this! Available at Ulta for $7.99.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Gloss Lip Lacquer Lipgloss – originally featured and swatched here. I like the minty aspect, but there is nothing spectacular about this. Full size available at Sephora for $28 for 0.16 oz.

 

 

Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss – it’s a balm. It’s a gloss… it’s… neither? It’s an anti-aging lip serum. I wore this so often on its own, as it had a lovely natural shade and was very lightweight, but I would also layer with another deeper gloss shade or lipstick. I didn’t notice any significant change in my lips while using this, so probably would not repurchase. Available at Sephora for $30 of 0.11oz.

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil in Black Velvet – I typically love the 24/7 liners, however this one let me down. It completely dried out. I’ve never had this happen to the UD liners – I tried sharpening it several times and warming it up before applying… nope it’s done. This was a very, very deep matte black. I would give it another chance, but I have so many black liners.. I don’t need to rush out and buy it any time soon. Available at Urban Decay counters for $20 for 0.04oz.

BODY

Julep Bare Body Milk – this was a really nice, lightweight lotion. It is a fun, beachy fragrance, but there is nothing spectacular about it. I probably would not purchase unless I rejoin the Julep Maven subscription. I can’t currently find on the Julep website, but their items change frequently. I’m going to assume that this was about $20 for 6.8oz.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis EDT – WOW. This is such a bright, clean scent – hints of citrus and bergamot stick with me 8+ hours. It also paired really well with the Body Milk. I would totally buy this. Available at Luckyscent.com for $195 for 70ml.

 

 

Skinfix Ultra Rich Hand Cream – this was fabulous – incredibly hydrating without leaving behind a greasy feeling. You can just feel all of the nourishing oils working their way into your skin. This reminded me quite a bit of the Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. I would definitely purchase. Full size available at Ulta for $9.99 for 3oz.

Tony Moly Changing U Magic Foot – this is the second time I have used this. I had a different experience this time around – maybe my feet were reallllly bad? This was really effective in removing some really serious callouses. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Ulta for $6.50.

HAIR

 

 

Alterna Caviar RepairX Multi-Vitamin Heat Protection Spray – another long name, another useless hair product. I really don’t see the results from the Alterna products. I have stopped using my straight iron so my hair is exposed to less heat in general. But there is nothing that justifies that cost of this for me. Available at Ulta for $30 for 4.2oz.

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo – I’m totally going to eat my words about this. Last time I used this I despised it. I decided to give this mini another chance and I have a completely different feeling about it. This experience was soooo much better – smell, texture, everything. If I used this on day 2 or 3, I would be able to skip using dry shampoo the next day. This worked so incredibly well. I actually went to look for the full size the other day but they were sold out. Available at Sephora for $13 for 0.8oz.

Sally Hershberger 24K Voluminous Dry Shampoo – this was terrible. I’m wondering if it wasn’t mislabeled hairspray? This did not cleanse my hair at all. My hair felt crunchy and stiff after using this. No thanks. I don’t know where it is available and am not bothering to look it up.

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

Illume Soy Candle in Noble Currant – I love currant scents! This little candle packed a big scent and burned at least 20 hours. Originally purchased on Birchbox.com for $10.

 

 

Julep Nail Color in Devon and Lori – one is great, the other is not. Devon is a slightly shimmery gunmetal that lasts 4-5 days without budging. I used this until there was no more. Lori is a thin, Jelly formula that NEVER DRIES. I have tried pairing this with other shades and using with the quick dry drops… nothing works. I gave up on this one. I would totally purchase Devon again. Available through Julep for $14 for 0.27oz.

Total products used 2017:

Skincare: 9

Body: 5

Hair: 7

Makeup/face: 4

other: 4

Nails: 2

Samples: 5

Sheet masks: 1

Month total: $178.77   (approximately)

Year total: $337.75

Things I purchased:

I took advantage of the MAC Select 20% off and bought a new bottle of Fix+. The 20% basically covered shipping, so I saved $1.

Amount spent in March: $23

There you go – another month, another round of empties! What did you use up this month? What do you plan on repurchasing?

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Use It: February 2017 Empties

Hello again, everyone!

I’ve been on a bit of a blog break – I’m in the final stages of planning a big event next weekend and we started a major bathroom renovation. I’ve just not had time to sit down and type anything.

As I was moving all of the stuff out of the bathroom,  I contemplated just tossing my empties box… and then I thought about waiting until March… and then I just tossed the box  into my guest room. Since there were so few items in this box, I figured I could sit down and type out a few notes.

As always, sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used. I used up a handful of some deluxe samples. If I was able to get a good sense of the product, it is included in this post. I am going to keep a tally again this year and track the total amount of products used with a final total in December (or whenever I actually write the December empties post…)

As an added bonus, my low-buy purchases will be tacked on to the end of the post. Hopefully this will help keep me accountable for spending as little as possible this year.

Here we go:

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo – this is definitely one of my favorite high-end dry shampoos. It absorbs oil quickly and keeps working throughout the day. I love this! Available at Sephora or birchbox.com for $10 for 1oz.

Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale The Eye and Lip Cream – I wasn’t going to include this because it was a sample, but it lasted for a month and was so damn good. This smoothed out my under eye area and decreased the dark circles. If it wasn’t so crazy expensive, I would definitely purchase. Full size is available at Saks for $200 for 0.5oz (no joke).

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo – this can of dry shampoo is huge and seemed to last forever. I was really impressed – this worked better than most of the drugstore dry shampoos I have tried. I will definitely repurchase! Available at Ulta for $5.99 for 7oz.

Ole Henriksen Truth Crème Advanced Hydration – this was nothing spectacular. It absorbed quickly and wasn’t greasy. It would be a good summer moisturizer, but definitely not meant for colder weather. Since they recently, rebranded I think they renamed this as the Truth Advanced™ Moisturizing Crème. Full size available at Sephora for $48 for 1.7oz.

Spa Sister Detoxifying Bamboo Charcoal Konjac Sponge – I found this for a steal at T.J. Maxx! I really liked how well it cleaned and exfoliated my face, but the sponge size was too  big. After a while, I switched this to a body sponge and it worked so much better! I loved using this this my Julep body cleansing oil. I would definitely repurchase. Available at T.J. Maxx for $4.99.

Total products used 2017:

Skincare: 7

Body: 1

Hair: 4

Makeup/face: 0

other: 3

Nails: 0

Samples: 4

Sheet masks: 1

Month total: $45.98   (approximately)

Year total: $158.98

Things I purchased:

About 4 candles from Saint Augustine  and Suds. Sadly, my friend Denise had to close her storefront. However she is going to continue events, local events and her website is open 24/7 (www.saintaugustineandsuds.com). I am in love with the Tonka Whiskey Leather candles. I also managed to find another Campfire and Coffee Candle… so good.

Amount spent in February: about $50.

Have a wonderful March! I look forward to sharing final renovation photos with you soon!

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Use It: January 2017 Empties

Hello everyone!

Happy February to you all! I hope you are having a great start to the new year.

Since I only finished a handful of products this month, I’m not breaking things out by category. Hopefully February will yield a few more. As always, sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used. I used up a handful of some deluxe samples. If I was able to get a good sense of the product, it is included in this post. I am going to keep a tally again this year and track the total amount of products used with a final total in December (or whenever I actually write the December empties post…)

As an added bonus, my low-buy purchases will be tacked on to the end of the post. Hopefully this will help keep me accountable for spending as little as possible this year.

Here we go:

Bath and Body Works PocketBac in Dancing Waters – my favorite BBW scent. It doesn’t over power – clean, crisp and meshes with my other scents. Available for $1.75 for 1oz.

Bee Kind Body Lotion – thin, non-hydrating, chamomile scented lotion. No. I think this came in a Birchbox forever ago.

dpHUE ACV –  this is an apple cider vinegar hair cleanser that really helped balance my scalp oil and remove any product build up. It is incredibly gentle and cleanses thoroughly without stripping any color. I don’t know if I would purchase the full size. I do have another mini and will determine after that. Full size available at Sephora for $35 for 8.5oz.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water – this little guy came over from a friend who visited the UK a while ago. This was of course released in the states several month later. As I’ve mentioned before I really only use this for eye makeup. This was great – very gentle and removed my stubborn mascara in a snap. Available in a 13.5oz size for $8.99.

GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment – I love this so much. It’s great for a spot treatment or an overall mask when my skin gets crazy. It minimizes pores, decreases oil production and zaps blemishes in a snap. I need this back in my life asap. Full size available at Sephora for $69 for 1.7oz.

L’Oréal Root Cover Up in Red – this is the second(?) third(?) can that I have used. This stuff is great. This is great for the time in between visits with my stylist. A quick spray covers up grey and hides my scary roots. It blends in so well and disguises the mystery shades underneath. 🙂 Available at Ulta for $10.99 for 2oz.

Marcelle Gentle Eye Makeup Remover – this is another one of the dual-phase eye makeup removers. Unlike the Mary Kay or Lancôme version, this one doesn’t leave my face greasy. It does a decent job removing stubborn eye makeup, but it tends to leave makeup smears behind. I purchased a full size with a bunch of Birchbox points, but I wish I hadn’t. Full size available at Birchbox.com for $17 for 150ml.

Patchology FlashPatch Eye Gels – these are fantastic – individual slices that are cooling and coated in a depuffing serum. I think the price point is a bit high, but they work so well. These were received for testing purposes from The Pink Panel. I would consider purchasing. Available at Neiman Marcus for $50 for 30 pairs.

Skyn Iceland Glacial Face Wash – this was a really nice, cooling cleanser. It did sting a bit and had to be kept away from the eyes. I found it to be incredibly gentle and didn’t strip moisture from my skin. I don’t know if I would rush right out and repurchase… it was fine. Full size available at Ulta for $30 for 5oz.

Saint Augustine and Suds tin in Holiday Kitchen – I love these candles – they have about a 30 hour burn time. This scent was a bit sweet – kind of like maple syrup? I have another that I love burning right now. Candles available on saintaugustineandsuds.com for $12.

Total products used 2017:

Skincare: 5

Body: 1

Hair: 2

Makeup/face: 0

other: 2

Nails: 0

Samples: 3

Sheet masks:

Month total: $113 (approximately)

 

Things purchased:

LuckyScent samples – $4 each + shipping =$16.

4160 Tuesdays – Sample: The Dark Heart of Old Havana – Eau de Parfum

 – PARFUMS DE NICOLAI – Sample: Fig Tea – Eau de Toilette

 – Slumberhouse – Sample: Kiste – Parfum Extrait

May Coop Raw Sauce (Sephora) – $43 – $25 gift card = $18

Total – $34

There you go. What did you use up in January? And if you are doing a low-buy, what were your purchases?

Have a wonderful February!

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Use It: December 2016 Empties

Happy 2017!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe New Year celebration. We went to dinner with some friends and then then I came home to sit on my couch with the dog. My husband and I were asleep by 12:30. We know how to have a good time. The older I get, the less interested I am in being out on NYE.

I am in the middle of drafting some year in review posts, but wanted to take a break to write about and recycle these empties. Plus, I am really curious about my final tally. I am going to do my absolute best to stick with a low-buy this year. I have no shortage of full-size and sample products to use… some with backups. My husband and I are committing to a budget and working hard to hold each other to it. I know I have said it before, but now I really need to stick to it. I have SO MUCH stuff…

As usual, everything is broken down by type: skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle/other. Sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used. I used up a handful of small samples as well as some deluxe samples. If I was able to get a good sense of the product, it is included in this post.

SKIN CARE

Clinique Clarifying Lotion #2 – If you read my blog regularly, you know that this has been a staple in my daily routine. After nearly 15 years, I am removing this from my skin care routine. I used to love how clean this left my face feeling after removing my makeup, however lately I feel that it leaves my skin tight and dry. Using micellar water after washing my face, followed by a non-alcohol based toner has given me the same clean feeling without the dryness. I’m sorry, Clarifying Lotion, but I have to let you go! Available at all Clinique counters for $24 for 13.5oz.

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – I started this a while back while I was treating my perioral dermatitis and sort of abandoned it after my treatment was over. I hate finding half-used products so was determined to finish this up. This cleanser is very gentle on skin, while removing all traces of makeup. A small amount easily does the trick, so this mini lasted quite a while. I have more of these tucked away! Available at Sephora for $5.50 for 1oz.

Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser – this citrusy, gel-like cleanser makes a great first step cleanser. A small amount lifted makeup and primer after a long day. This was very hydrating and helped protect my face when doing a second cleansing step. I did not use this on or around my eyes, so cannot speak to how it removed eye makeup. I would definitely consider purchasing again. Full-size available at Sephora for $34 for 4oz.

Pond’s Original Fresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes – these were very nice – removed eye makeup with ease as well as deep lipstick and lip stains. I don’t feel like they can be used on their own though – they seem to leave a bit of a soapy film even though the directions say no washing needed. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Target for $9.99 for 75 wipes.

Skyn Iceland – Icelandic Relief Eye Pen – this was a very nice eye cream. Cooling, soothing and hydrating. I noticed minimal change in my undereye creasing and it did nothing for my dark circles. Given how self-conscious I am of the dark circles, this was not the product for me. Available at Ulta for $20 for 0.14oz.

MAKEUP

Benefit Gimme Brow Shade 3 – I feel like this is a bit thinner, yet more pigmented than the previous iteration. I really like the shade variations – light was too light and dark was too dark… this is juuuuust right. This was a mini version from the launch and it has lasted for months. I think I purchased a full size (see hoarding notes above…) and am definitely looking forward to using. Available at all Benefit counters for $12 for 0.03oz or $24 for 0.1oz.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara – this mascara gets a ton of hype and I have no clue why. This was clumpy and kind of tough to use. I had to regularly spend a minute separating my lashes after using. It was also almost impossible to remove. I have 30 sample mascaras, I won’t be purchasing. Available at Ulta for $21 for 0.24oz.

BODY

Olay Quench Body Lotion – this is my go-to lotion for every season. While I change up other shower products and lotions seasonally, this is an absolute staple. I have tried a couple of the Quench varieties and I love them all. This is hydrating enough for the cold months, but non-greasy and absorbs quickly to get through the warm months. I buy this in bulk! Available on Amazon for $11.95 for 20.2oz.

HAIR

Alterna Caviar Replenishing Moisture Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray – such a long name for leave-in conditioner. Like I said before, I don’t notice a lot of difference with this stuff… either it detangles or it doesn’t. This did. I wouldn’t spend this kind of money to repurchase though. Full-size available at Ulta for $30 for 5.1oz.

Redken Color Extend Sun Mousse SPF 25 – this was a gift from the nice folks at L’Oréal Product Evaluation a while back. I really tried to make this work – while it gave my waves a nice finish, it also left a weird residue on my hair. It did not like second or third day hair.. I tried to find this online, but it looks like it is only available in the UK now. Hmm..

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

Saint Augustine and Suds candles in Apple Pumpkin Rum and Campfire and Coffee – these are both fantastic – they smelled amazing and lasted forever. My favorite of the two was Campfire and Coffee, a nice balance of wood and hot steaming coffee. I received the Apple Pumpkin Rum at the Lady Saints event and I purchased the candle for $12. I believe Denise has made more and they are available in-store. You can contact her via the website – saintaugustineandsuds.com

So here is the moment I was waiting for…

Total products used 2016:

Skincare: 23

Body: 22

Hair: 17

Makeup/face: 30

other: 8

Nails: 16

Samples: 50

Sheet masks: 11

Month total: $96.45 (approximately)

Total products used in 2016: 177!

Year total: $1,570.80!!

While I used up a ton of stuff, I still have a long way to go. I’m hoping to come up with a couple challenges to keep myself motivated as well as try to resist opening new things before I use something up.

How do you stay motivated to use things up and/or stick to a low/no-buy? What are some of the challenges you are attempting in 2017? Comment below!

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Use It: November 2016 Empties

Hello everyone!

I was starting to think that November was a low-use month and then all of a sudden I seemed to finish up a bunch of things all at once. Or I wasn’t actually paying attention and they have been running low for a while… which is probably the more likely scenario.

I haven’t needed to do this for a while, but since there were so many products I broke everything out by type: skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle/other. Sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used. This was a very low sample month, I think there were only a couple towards the beginning.

Anywho – here we go:

SKIN CARE

GLAMGLOW YouthCleanse – this is a gritty, mud to foam cleanser. It is a deluxe sample and lasted about a month, so I was able to formulate a strong opinion on this. I like the mud to foam idea but it is a bit deceiving… it’s not a lather, just a slight change in texture. I didn’t anticipate the exfoliant so after several uses, I had to swap it out because it was just a bit too harsh for every day and I could not use it to remove eye makeup. I used this as a second step of a double cleanse and I found that it left my skin feeling super clean. I would not purchase as I feel like there are better cleansers out there. Available at Sephora – full size is $39 for 5oz.

Kiehl’s Photo-Age Corrector Intensive Corrective Moisturizer – I really liked the idea of this – a moisturizer that could correct sun and element damage. This was an odd formula though… not overly moisturizing.. I ended up using this on my neck and chest. This was a gift from L’Oréal Product Evaluation and has been discontinued.

Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Lightweight Cream – now this moisturizer was great. I used this at night – layered it on thick and massaged it in over a serum. This was really hydrating and made my skin feel fantastic. I would definitely purchase. This was also a gift from L’Oréal Product Evaluation. Available on the Kiehl’s website or Nordstrom for $60 for 1.7oz.

Thistle Farms Lip Smoothie – this is a really great, all natural lip balm. Thistle Farms is based in Nashville and their mission alone is to buy their products: “Thistle Farms is a sanctuary for healing for women survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking and prostitution. We are a community of survivors, advocates, employees, interns, volunteers, and friends from all across the world. We are young and old, women and men. We want to change a culture that still allows human beings to be bought and sold. We believe that in the end, love is the strongest force for change in the world.” These women make and sell all of the products. I will buy any and all of their products again and again. Available at thistlefarms.org for $4.95

MAKEUP

Beautyblender Blotterazzi – I was so excited when I received this in my Sephora PLAY! box. After one use, I was confused and annoyed. I tried this a few more times, but every time I used it, it seemed to just smear my makeup around and not actually absorb anything. I know I’m not alone in this experience. Purchase? No chance. Available at Sephora for $20 for 2.

e.l.f. Shine Eraser – last one… I finally ran out of my stash! Bummer.

LORAC Cococin Cream Foundation in CR1 – a foundation made from… coconuts? This was a very creamy, medium coverage foundation. I found the best application for this foundation was not brushes, but fingers. Warming a bit on the hands helped this move easily on my skin – it blended so well and could be sheered out or built up for more coverage. CR1 was a really good match for my fair skin – not too pink, not too yellow. I believe this has pretty much been discontinued except for Amazon now – $32 for 0.28oz.

BODY

Bath and Body Works Body Cream in Peach and Honey Almond – I bought everything I could find in this scent.. this is such a warm, happy scent that lasts all day. Like other Bath and Body Works body creams, this is super hydrating and non-greasy. I would purchase this again in a heartbeat if it was released again. Limited edition – $12.50 for 8oz.

Satin Care Shave Gel – this was part of a winter set last year – I never buy shave gel except for in a pinch. I’m much more a shave cream, as gel has been known to give me razor burn if  use too little . This worked fairly well, but I had to use a ton to ward off razor burn. I would not repurchase. Amazon sells for $7.99 for 2.5oz.

Udderly Smooth Hand Cream – this was weird… it was really watery and not very moisturizing. If I was a cow, I would be pissed that someone used this on my udders.This came in a subscription box – definitely would not buy. Available on Amazon for $5 for 4oz.

HAIR

Kerastase Cristaliste Shampoo for Long Hair – I’ve used a number of Kerastase products over the years and there are some really amazing things and some that are just… okay. I found this to be a perfectly fine shampoo, but not one that justifies the crazy price tag. I have a few more of these tucked away – they might get used… or I might give them away. We’ll see… Amazon lists this for $18.99 for the 8.5oz.

Suave Refresh and Revive Dry Shampoo – I received this for testing purposes from Influenster. I really liked this at first, but after a while the fake mango scent really started to get to me. It would cling to me all day and not mix well with any of my perfume and eventually started to make me nauseous. The formula was perfectly fine – it was a good all-day dry shampoo that would extend my time between washing 2-3 days. Available at Target for $2.49 for 4.3oz.

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

Ulta Strengthening Nail Polish Remover – I don’t see the point in spending a ton on nail polish remover… the Ulta brand works great – removes every trace of polish and doesn’t sting or burn. I’ll repurchase again and again. Available at Ulta for $2.99 for 6oz.

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 18

Body: 21

Hair: 15

Makeup/face: 28

other: 6

Nails: 16

Samples: 41

Sheet masks: 10

Month total: $144.27 (approximately)

Year total: $1,474.35

There you have it – another month of empties. Hopefully December brings another large bunch of things that I can review and declutter. I am currently trying to finish a bunch of half-used products and some deluxe samples that are taking up a ton of storage space. Stay tuned to see how that works out! 🙂

Have a wonderful December!

 

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Use It: October 2016 Empties

Hi there, hey there.

It’s been a few weeks… things have been really crazy on the home front, hence the blog silence. No worries though, everyone is doing well and we’re all getting back into a regular routine.

This was a very low-use product month. After plowing through a bunch of full size as well as sample sizes for Sample September, I think I really just focused on using the things that I love and getting back to a regular routine. With that being said, I still managed to use a few things and wanted to give you some reviews:

Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush – I’ve had this brush for years and sadly it is time to say goodbye. It sort of frayed and no matter what I do I cannot reshape this. I actually trimmed some of the crazy hairs in hope of making it work but it still applies my liner erratically. This was a great brush – I could really pack a gel/cream eyeliner into both sides and get an even application well into the lash line. While I’m terrified of tightlining, this did make it easier to accomplish. I would consider repurchasing down the road. Available at Nordstrom for $28.

Ciaté Nail Polish in Members Only – I never loved this polish, but I also got it for free… maybe I don’t really have that much to complain about then? This is the only Ciate polish I have ever tried, but I’m not inclined to rush out and buy any. It was a very gel-like formula that only liked to be worn with one layer. I felt like this never really dried despite trying several top coats. This I can no longer use this because the brush doesn’t reach any further. Will not purchase. Full size available at Nordstrom for $14-$15.

Color Club Nail Lacquer in Status Update – this was a Birchbox find a while back. I really like their colors and formulas. This one could be worn with one coat, but I always prefer two just to make sure there are no opaque spots. Status Update is a deep, dark blueish grey that borderlines black and would easily wear 4-5 days without chipping or fading. As you can tell it isn’t empty, but the applicator broke. It is really difficult (and messy!) to try and use the inner applicator. I would repurchase this brand and shade. Available at Birchbox.com for $8-$9 for 0.25oz.

Julep Crème-to-Powder Eyeshadow Stick in Plum Shimmer – I opened this the other day and the crayon went flying out… guys, I still can’t find it. In the stick, this was a beautiful multihued purple. When applied, it lost its luster and was a flat plum shade. No shimmer like in the stick or dimension, just flat. I usually blended with a lighter, more shimmery shade to create a more ombre look. Long story short, I would not repurchase this shade. I would be willing to try a different shade however. Available on Julep.com for $18 for 0.04oz.

MAC Eyeshadow in Naked Lunch – this has been my go-to eye shadow single for years. I have gone through so many of these and have a few backups. This is the perfect neutral eye shade – it blends well with other shades, but I love to wear it just on its own. Naked Lunch is a buildable, multidimensional peachy-pink shade that looks flattering on so many skin tones. Repurchase? Always and forever. Available online and at all MAC counters for $16 for 0.04oz.

Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Mascara in Classic Black – this curled, separated, thickened and never clumped. It also would not come off. This clung to my lashes regardless of how much micellar water or eye makeup remover I used. It would not come off! I always felt like I had a crunchy layer of primer on. Again, this applied and looked fantastic… but I will never buy this again. Available at Ulta for $6.99.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Facial Cleansing Gel and Eye Makeup Remover – for such a long title, you would expect magic but this also would not remove the Colossal Mascara! This was a very nice, simple cleanser. It would work into a slight foam and removed all of my makeup and left my skin soft and not stripped of moisture. This tube lasted forever – I’m actually happy to see it go so I can use up a bunch of other things that are piling up. I may repurchase some day. Available at Sephora for $23 for 7.5oz.

Tony Moly Changing Magic Foot Peeling Shoes – I heard that this was great dupe for the popular (and creepy) Baby Foot. The difference? About $20. I figured since I love Tony Moly masks, why not give this a chance. This is crazy. I wore these booties for an hour and a few days later, my feet started peeling like crazy. I won’t get all gross, but within a few days, even my most stubborn callouses were gone. This is a fascinating product. I already bought another. Available at Ulta for $6.

So there you have it!

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 14

Body: 18

Hair: 13

Makeup/face: 25

other: 6

Nails: 15

Samples: 39

Sheet masks: 10

Month total: $112.99

Year total: $1,330.08 

 

What did you use up this month? Anything you’ve been trying to check off of your list?

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Use It: September 2016 Empties

Hello and happy October!

Farewell summer – I won’t miss you!

As usual, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle. Sample reviews are posted frequently to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used. This month included a higher number of samples than usual as I was participating in Sample September. It was really nice to be able to clear out a few more things out of my sample stash!

Here we go!

SKINCARE

 

 

Julep Charcoal Konjac Sponge – I really liked the shape and feel of this sponge. This was great out of the gate, unfortunately between uses it would dry out too much and start to condense. After a couple weeks it became increasingly difficult to rehydrate and use comfortably. It kept shrinking and absorbing less and less water every day. I think I really only got one good week of use out of this and completely gave up after 2-3 weeks. This was only with using a gentle cleanser first thing in the morning – no cleansing oils or use with makeup. Would not repurchase. Available at Julep.com for $12.

Lancôme Genifique Yeux/Youth Activating Eye Cream – this was from L’Oréal Product Evaluation and probably one of the best gifts they’ve ever given! This was great for day and night – incredibly hydrating and soothing. This has reflective agents and minimizes the appearance of dark circles. It did not, however, tighten or firm the fine lines. I liked this, but did not love it for that very reason. Would not purchase. Available at Nordstrom for $67 for 0.5oz.

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Towelettes – this confirmed my dislike of cucumber scented things. Additionally, they did not remove my makeup very well… it was fine for foundation and some eyeshadows, but they didn’t touch mascara or eyeliner. Would definitely not repurchase. Available at Target for $2.99 (10 sheets).

MAKEUP

Benefit They’re Real Beyond Blue Mascara – this was so perfect for summer! I originally discussed this here. As typical for They’re Real, it lasted about 3 months on the dot before it started to dry out. I was hoping to get a few more uses out of it, but managed to get yet another round of pink eye.. ugh! Out it goes! I love this formula, but I probably would not purchase this color in this line again. It’s fun, but I know I can find a colored mascara for much cheaper. Available at Ulta for $24.

 

 

Vella Flower Flower B.B Whitening Moisturizing Color Control Base – this was a really great BB cream. I used this quite a bit when I was battling perioral dermatitis – it cancelled out all of the redness and was hydrating enough to minimize some of the flaky skin. This made my skin overall look super porcelain and flawless. It did get shiny throughout the day, but it wasn’t anything that a little powder couldn’t get rid of! If I could find this, I would definitely repurchase. It was a Memebox find from when the majority of the products were coming straight from Korea. I will probably never find this again.

BODY

Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiance Fair to Medium Skin – I despise most tanning lotions simply because of the scent. This one smells so nice! It is also a really subtle color enhancer that doesn’t make my incredibly pale skin look orange or too dark. This never streaks or leaves uneven patches. I already have a backup! Available at Ulta for about $10 for 13.5oz.

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

Bath and Body Works Soothing Pillow Mist in Eucalyptus Spearmint – I love, love, love this and have been using it for years. When I have the Sunday blues and can’t fall asleep, I just spray on my pillow and I’m out within 5 minutes. I don’t know what kind of magic this stuff is, but fortunately I have backups! The down side is that this wasn’t completely empty, but the sprayer thing broke. Bummer. I will purchase more during one of the BBW semi-annual sales where it’s 50%. Available in-store and on the website for $12.50 for 5.3oz.

Butter London Nail in The Sweet Spot – this lovely, creamy pink was part of last year’s collaboration with Allure – I think they had 4-5 limited edition shades. I received this last year through the Allure Beauty Box (which I discontinued a few months ago) and originally featured in my 2015 Favorites – with good reason. The formula was long lasting and well pigmented – I have some other shades from this brand that I look forward to testing out! Regular shades available at Ulta for $15 for 0.4oz.

Formula X Delete All – I bought this in hopes of finding something that would take off glitter polish better than my regular $1.99 remover. This is one of those contraptions that has 5 slots for each finger… you contort your hands so it coats your nail and removes the polish. This worked incredibly well on removing all traces of gritty glitter! I’m not sure why I was on the kick, but I have certainly moved past it. It works well on all formulas, pigmentations, etc. It has really dried out so it’s time to say goodbye. I would definitely repurchase! Available at Sephora for $15 for 5oz.

 

 

Julep Nail Color in Rayma – so this was a September favorite and an empty 😦 I absolutely love this color. It reminds me of wine, which is probably why I like it so much! This started to get really thick, so I added a similar shade to kind of thin it out. I was able to get a few more uses, but sadly it is no more. I would consider repurchasing if I didn’t have so much nail polish… the Julep subscription was great, but just soooo many products. I will not need to buy polish for the next 5 years. Available on Julep.com for $14

Julep Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops – this worked really well and lasted forever! This oily formula dried polish in a snap. I do have a back up of this and will use it, but I don’t anticipate repurchasing. The product below will explain why… Available on Julep.com for $18.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat – ah, my beloved Seche Vite. Toxic as hell, but I can’t resist it. I can use this on any polish and it will be dry in 2 minutes. I never get a smudge, bubble or crinkle when I use this. As you can probably tell, this is not empty, but it got really thick and hard to use. Don’t worry, I already have a backup! Available at Ulta for $7.99.

Whew! There you go. Again, it never seems like a lot until I start typing… then it seems like it takes forever to wrap it up!

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 13

Body: 17

Hair: 13

Makeup/face: 22

other: 5

Nails: 13

Samples: 39

Sheet masks: 10

Month total: $190.98

Year total: $1,217.09 

What did you finish up this month? Any favorites? Non-favorites?

Have a great October!

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Use It: August 2016 Empties

Hello again!
August always seems like the longest month, but this one just flew! I survived my birthday month – I actually didn’t age this year… it was amazing. I don’t foresee aging any upcoming birthdays either. 🙂

I had zero empties the first couple weeks of the month and just assumed I would be waiting until the end of September to write this post. But mid-month, I started finishing up a bunch of products and all of a sudden I had a massive pile… I don’t see this as a bad thing. I have a ton of products open, not open and backups of many. After tossing a few things and getting their replacements, I actually made a significant dent in one of my drawers. Little victories!

As usual, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle. Sample reviews are posted frequently to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used.

SKINCARE

Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge – I bought this one in a pinch. It’s great, but I know there are so many cleansing sponges that do the same job for 1/4 of the price. Available at Sephora for $15.

MAKEUP

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose – if you read my blog regularly, you know that I just love, love, love this. This is just a perfect pink highlighter that works so well under your eyes and just as well on cheeks or forehead. I will definitely repurchase! Available online or at MAC counters or freestanding stores for $27 for 0.12oz.

Stila Lip Glaze in Mango Berry – this was a beautiful, sheer coral shade. It wasn’t until half way through this when I remembered that I despise the applicator – it is so messy and you can never dispense enough so then you get too much and it gets all over the lid. Loved the color, but will not repurchase any of these again! Mango Berry is no longer available, but a similar shade called Tangerine is available at Sephora for $222 for 0.08oz.

W3ll People Expressionist Mascara – Birchbox just looooves this brand. The applicator is one of the best I’ve ever used – short and coated the whole lash. The formula, however is a bit of a miss. It coated the lashes, but it didn’t thicken or lengthen… it was a very natural look. I do tend to prefer a bit more drama in a mascara. Available on Birchbox.com for $22 at 0.23oz.

BODY

Kamill Aloe Hand and Nail Cream – this was a nice, lightweight lotion. It was good for spring and summer months, but just wasn’t hydrating enough for cold weather months. The aloe scent was a bit strong, but faded after a while. I would love to test out some of the other scents! Available at smallflower.com for $4.95 for 100ml.

Kiehl’s Superbly Efficient Antiperspirant and Deodorant Cream – yet another one… this is just the absolute best deodorant. It is unscented, dries quickly and lasts 24 hours – so great! I have gone through so many of these and am about to stock up on more. Available on kiehls.com for $19.50 for 2.5oz.

LUSH Rose Jam – this is my all-time favorite Lush product. Why isn’t this a lotion? Or a perfume? It is just SO GOOD. Not only does it smell amazing, it is hydrating as well as gentle on your skin. This is only available at certain times of the year. When you see it, grab it! Available at Lush for $9.95 for 3.3oz.

HAIR

Alterna Bamboo Style Cleanse Extend in Mango Coconut – this claims to be free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and synthetic color.. ok so I want to know what chemical it smells like because this stinks. It might be a “natural” dry shampoo but it smells like mangoes and chemicals and I had to leave the room that I would spray it in. I originally got this in a Sephora dry shampoo kit but can no longer find it on the website… guess I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.

Davines LOVE Shampoo – I just love this shampoo. It’s deep cleansing, smoothing and smells amazing. It I actually needed to buy shampoo, this would be it. available at Birchbox.com for $25 for 5oz.

Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Nourishing Shampoo – this is awful. I only used this a couple times because it left my hair feeling really heavy and oily. By the end of the day it would look horrible – super greasy and unwashed. I don’t know what hair this is meant for, but definitely not mine. Available at kiehls.com for $7 for 2.5oz.

Not Your Mother’s Knotty to Nice Conditioning Detangler – such a long name… This came in an Allure box a while ago – it was perfectly fine. I don’t frequently find much difference between detanglers – either they work or they don’t, right? I would repurchase I guess. Available at Ulta and Amazon for $6.99 for 6oz.

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

Julep Clean Slate Polish Remover Pads – I know I reviewed these at some point a long time ago. I feel like I really have to work to get the polish off with these pads. The liquid evaporates very quickly so you can only really use 1 per hand. Given the cost, I can’t see how people use these all the time. Available at Julep.com and now Ulta for $14 for 10.

Ruffian Nail Color in Rosary – this is a lovely warm, rose gold shade with a lot of shimmer. I did not like the applicator brush because it collected very little polish to apply… however, you really didn’t need much to fully cover the nail. I usually use 2 coats but 1 would be sufficient. I wouldn’t repurchase because I have a ton of nail polish and it is actually crazy expensive.. like more than twice as much as Chanel ($28 for 0.40z). I got this in a Birchbox, definitely wouldn’t shell out this much. Available on Birchbox.com for $24 for 0.17oz.

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 10

Body: 16

Hair: 13

Makeup/face: 20

other: 4

Nails: 8

Samples: 27

Sheet masks: 9

Month total: $184.39

Year total: $1,026.11 WHOA!

What did you finish up this month? Any favorites? Non-favorites?

Have a great September!

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Use It: July 2016 Empties

Hello again!

How on earth is it already August? What the heck… I swear I just got caught up on June.. I’ve been working on a few drafts, so will hopefully have those complete in the next few days. There has been a lot of travel and then I got sick… ugh. Excuses.

This month did not yield a ton of empties, so I will just list everything alphabetically rather than my usual categories. I contemplated just waiting until next month, but I really hate having all of these empty containers sitting around.

Aveeno Nourish + Dandruff Control – so this did nourish, but it did not control dandruff. I feel like it was actually worse after using this shampoo. It wasn’t deep cleansing or anything spectacular for that matter. Thumbs down. Available at Target for $6-$7 for 10.5oz.

Avene Hydrance Light Hydrating Cream – this was great for colder weather. But once the weather turned and the humidity went up, this left my face feeling really greasy. I did finish this up on my neck and décolletage and it was fine. I would consider repurchasing for the fall/winter months if I can find the version with SPF. Available at Birchbox for $32 for 1.35oz.

drybar Detox Dry Shampoo – this stuff stinks…. but it works so well! This mini version lasted almost 2 months – a little bit really went a long way. A couple sprays distributed enough dry shampoo to eliminate all of the oil from my hair and helped extend time between washing. I don’t think I could repurchase though because the smell bothers me that much – I might be one of the few people that actually dislikes all of the drybar products. Available at Sephora for $13 for 1.4oz.

e.l.f. Shine Eraser – yes… another. I think I am finally using my last pack. Again, they are fine and were being sold at closeout at Target for $0.85.

Essie Grow Stronger Base Coat – I have been using this for a while and haven’t noticed much change… I started using this when my hair and nails were all messed up after some surgery a couple years ago. I don’t know that I can say it did that much repair – I think it just needed time… not this base coat. On that note, this is a decent base coat. It is a bit tacky and helps the color really adhere to the nail. I have a couple other base coats so I probably won’t repurchase right now. Available at CVS and Target for about $8.

Julep Nail Color in Farrah – this is a really interesting cool toned, purple-grey shade. This is the Silk Finish formulas – in the bottle it looks super shimmery, but dries sort of matte. With a good top coat, it has a lot of depth and shimmer. I have no idea why anyone would want to wear this as a matte! This wore for 4-5 days. I would not repurchase only because I have a ton of nail polish. Available at julep.com for $14.

Kiehl’s Close Shavers Squadron Blue Eagle Shave Cream – this is the sensitive skin version, and yes it’s for men. My skin reacts so poorly to most shaving products, so I get really excited when I find something that doesn’t cause horrible razor burn. I’ve been using this for a while and just keep coming back. Dear Kiehl’s, don’t ever stop making this. I have backups of this. 🙂  Available at Kiehls.com for $16 for 5oz.

Kiehl’s Crème de Corps – I have to be honest… I don’t get the hype. It’s a perfectly fine lotion. I think there are a lot of other lotions out there at a lower price point. Kiehl’s makes a lot of really great products, but this is just ok. Much like the drybar products, I’m sure I’m in the minority on this. Available at Kiehls.com for $11 for 2.5oz.

One ‘n Only Brazilian Tech De-Frizz Wand – this is an absolute life saver in this humid weather. A couple quick swipes tames flyaways and keeps my curls from frizzing. I originally received this in an Allure box and I repurchased a couple at Sally Beauty – they are not currently on the website. I’m going to stalk these down in my local store and hoard them away! If you can find them, get them… buy one for me too. I think they ran around $6-$7.

Rusk Dry Finishing Spray – this was a nice, lightweight spray that helped bring my curls back on second day hair. After brushing out my hair, I would dampen it and then spray on a small amount and re-scrunch the curls. Full size is available at Birchbox for $18 for 8oz.

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 9

Body: 13

Hair: 9

Makeup/face: 17

other: 4

Nails: 6

Samples: 24

Sheet masks: 9

Month total: $125.85

Year to date: $841.72

All samples and sheet masks have mini reviews on Instagram!

What all did you use up this past month? Any favorites?

1 Comment »

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