Sunday, November 30, 2014

Empties #6

Since I'm terrible about sticking to a specific month or any time table, for that matter, I figured I'd just wait until my Sephora bag is full before I post my empties. So, here's number six in no particular order. It's quite the mix this month, if I do say so myself.



Ralph Lauren Romance Body Wash - This smells lovely, but it doesn't lather very well. I ended up mixing it with my Aveeno body wash to get the lather and smell that I liked. I wouldn't seek this out to repurchase, but if it came in another gift set, then I wouldn't complain.

HEMPZ Body Sensitive Skin body wash - This was a freebie, obviously. It was ok. I wouldn't purchase a full size, though.

HEMPZ Body Sensitive Skin body lotion - Another freebie. It smelled like an oatmeal cookie, even though it said it was fragrance free. Aveeno also has oatmeal in it and they don't smell anything alike. It moisturized well enough, but I wouldn't purchase a full size in this either.

Bath and Body Works Crisp Morning Air Hand Cream - I liked this when I first got it, but after a while the apple smell got to be overwhelming. It is definitely a thicker hand cream, but it does manage to sink in after a few minutes. I don't see myself repurchasing this, though. I prefer a less smelly hand cream for day to day use.

H2O Spa Unscented Hand and Nail Cream - This was ok. I got it as part of a set many moons ago. It wasn't very thick, which can be a perk, but I didn't think it did anything particularly special. I wouldn't repurchase.


Redken All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner - These were great when I first got them. It made my hair super soft and it smelled nice. But after a while, they stopped working like they used to and I was happy to just be rid of them. I may repurchase in the future, but I doubt it.

CLEAR Total Care Shampoo (not pictured - just use your imagination) and Conditioner - I only bought these because they were out of the frizz control variety. The Total Care was ok. Not my favorite. And the shampoo isn't featured because the black part where the product comes out separated from the rest of the bottle and shampoo would just ooze out. So gross. This was nice enough, but no wow factor. Probably wouldn't repurchase.

Pantene Silky Moisture Whip - This is my second can, so I obviously like it enough that I bought it a second time, but when it was time to replace it I actually went with the Dove version just out of sheer curiosity. I like that this was a mousse, but it didn't leave my hair crunchy.

Tresemme Tres Two Hairspray x 2 - When I finished the big can, I moved on to my little one. I think, as far as hairspray goes, that this could be Holy Grail material. I have some other stuff I'm working through right now, but I have another big bottle waiting in the wings.


Lancome Fabric eyeshadow - This was a pale, slightly shimmery ivory/champagne color that was a smidgen darker than MAC Shroom. Maybe more along the lines of MAC Brule, but with shimmer. It was a good base/blending color or a really subtle highlight. I wouldn't repurchase only because I have a zillion similar colors in better/softer formulas.

Maybelline Master Drama Eyeliners in Midnight Master (black) and Bold Brown (dark brown) - If I had to pick a favorite drugstore eyeliner, these would be them. That being said, however, I am really attached to my Stila Smudge Sticks. They're in identical packaging and more than likely come from the same facility, but the Stila ones are much softer/easier to blend. Plus, they come in more colors. So, if I was in a pinch, I would repurchase the Maybelline ones, but if I get a choice, I'll stick with Stila. Here's my Swatch Wars post featuring these two, if you're curious.

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium - I'm already on my second tube. I had this one for six months before it finally got to the point where it was flaky and goopy and I figured it was just time for a new one. Ultimate lazy-brow-day product.

IT Cosmetics Vitality Butter Gloss in Perfect Nude - This is the second of these glosses that I've finished, but I don't think I'd repurchase at this point. I think I like their CC Lip Serum better (it's a slightly smoother formula) and I just bought all of those Lancome Juicy Tubes... so... yeah. Also, I tried using everything out of the bottom, but I just couldn't get it all. I took the stopper out, turned it upside down, put it in hot water, steamed it in the shower. Nothing! That bit at the bottom would NOT move, just like the other tube. So, I'm not that heartbroken about it.


Purpose Gentle Cleanser - Have I declared this as my Holy Grail facial cleanser yet? If not, HG MATERIAL!!! There. I said it. It smells lovely, foams nicely, takes off my makeup in one washing and doesn't dry out my skin. I've repurchased this umpteen times and I have another bottle going now. Here's my original post/review on this gem. 

Olay Pro X Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser - I got this in 2011 (original post) and it was just time to use it up and get it out of my flippin' shower. I ended up using it as a body scrub, too, although the granules were far too small to do anything effective. I usually only used this is the morning or when I didn't have makeup on, so I can't really attest to how well it worked in that area. I would not repurchase, however.

Pixi Glow Tonic - I love this toner. I just found out about it earlier this year (apparently it's a dupe for a very expensive European toner) and when I ran out, I bought a second bottle. It smells a little medicinal, but I don't mind it. I typically only use this at night, so it lasted me from February until November, but I know plenty of people in the beauty world who use this twice a day. 

Finacea - I didn't know if I should put this in here or not, but I figured it couldn't hurt. It's a prescription for people with acne and/or rosacea and I've had great success with it. This little tube lasted me three weeks of nightly use, so a little bit goes a long way. It hasn't dried my skin out at all, like some people said, and I've never had any burning or tingling. I have a full size tube that I'm working on now, but I seriously think it'll last me an entire year, or close to it, which is a good thing because this stuff is expensive, even with decent insurance...

Mario Badescu Almond & Honey Facial Scrub - This little sample smelled divine! I love almond anything, so I was super excited to try this. The granules weren't to my liking (too big of chunks sporadically mixed in, so you never knew what you were getting), but the smell alone made it a pleasant experience. I wouldn't repurchase, though.

Mario Badescu Orange Protective Cream - Another sample size that smelled awesome! The "protective creams" are designed to be worn in harsh weather, either over your moisturizer or in lieu of it, depending on your skin. I definitely like it for winters here in Po'Dunk. Between the cold, wind, and dryness of heated buildings, it's nice to smooth this on day or night. Plus, it smells like a dreamsicle! 

Mario Badescu Hyalauronic Eye Cream - This is a really nice eye cream to use at night and in the morning, even under makeup. It's not tacky or goopy or super thin. I'd say it's a medium "weight" eye cream. It's not an oily or goopy mess, but it doesn't soak in in two seconds like some gel-based formulas and leave your eye area dry again. The tub also lasts quite a long time. I think I bought this in April (I'm about 99% sure, since that's when I went on a Mario Badescu kick) and it JUST ran out at the end of November. So, 1 oz may not seem like a lot initially, but you only need a little dab. I already bought a second tub.

Thanks for reading my random rambles about trash. :) 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sephora Flawless Refresh Set

At check out the other day, Sephora asked if I wanted the Flawless Refresh Set or the Party Pamper Set. Refreshing sounded better to me, so that's what I went with. Since the website just offered a little thumbnail of each set and not a full listing, I figured I'd post what it contained for anyone else that was curious or trying to decide between the two.


  • A red, rubbery sequin-looking makeup bag
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume sample
  • Prada Candy Florale perfume sample
  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser with Fab Antioxidant Booster
  • Bliss Grapefruit + Aloe Body Butter
  • Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate
  • Glam Glow Thirsty Mud Hydrating Treatment
  • Tarte LipSurgence Lip gloss sample in Exposed
  • Clinique Almost Lipstick sample in Black Honey
I think I'm most excited about the lip products and the Glam Glow. I'm mildly curious about the First Aid Beauty cleanser and Clarins eye treatment. I'm borderline about the perfumes and the Bliss Body Butter is definitely going to one of my friends as a stocking stuffer. I'll keep you posted on the rest, though. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Finish Six by Christmas Update

Here's the original post and the first update. Today I bring you an exciting second update!


I'm not sure how well it photographed, but I'm almost done with the mini bottle of Mario Badescu Facial Spray. The line is halfway between the bottom of the label and the bottom of the bottle. I'd say this only has two or three days left, at most. I'm definitely going to be able to polish that off. And I'm also keeping the mini bottle because I think it'll be fantastic for traveling.


I finished Maybelline Nearly There lipstick early in the month and I have to say that I'm quite happy about it. It was a beautiful color, but wearing it day in and day out kind of got old. I contemplated buying Hourglass Rouge Velvet Creme lipstick in Whisper as a replacement for it, but I keep stopping myself. I guess I'm pretty happy with how downsizing my lipsticks are going that I don't feel the need to add to it right now.

I'm also pretty excited by the progress in Urban Decay's Sellout eyeshadow! Once you hit pan, this stuff seems to go pretty quickly. And now that I've hit major "ring" (apparently it's the new term for using up all of the product along the outer edge/ring), it's getting really crumbly. I have to keep pressing it back into place with my finger otherwise it starts flaking up. I could just repress it with isopropyl alcohol, but I a) don't want to "undo" all of my visible hard work and b) I'm worried it'll mess with the texture.So, I guess we'll see.

And nothing really new to report on the Cargo Texas Lash mascara or the Lancome Maquicomplet Concealer. The mascara is still just mediocre in my opinion. The concealer's doe foot wand keeps coming up with less and less product, so I imagine it's nearing the bottom. I might have to take the stopper out one of these days to get a better assessment of what's going on in there. 

It's the final push, people! The next update will be the grand finale! And in case you want to jump on board, a lot of YouTubers are going to do a "Finish Seven by Spring" project pan. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do that too, but I haven't decided which products I'm including. I guess I better decide quickly, since there's only a month or so left!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lancome Juicy Tubes Shimmering Neutrals Set + Swatches

I know I'm in the middle of downsizing my collection, but for some reason I felt the need to own the Lancome Juicy Tube in Hallucination. I swatched it in Sephora and admired its pale, golden beige-y ness and thought that it would be the perfect gloss to throw on top of any other color. Well, since I'm more of an Ulta girl and prefer their point system, I figured I would just run down the road to Ulta to pick it up. Much to my (initial) dismay, they didn't have Hallucination in stock, but the sales lady quickly pointed out this set and appealed to the frugal shopper in me. Unlike normal holiday sets, all four of these Juicy Tubes are full size. Full size, people! And the best part is it's only $30 for ALL FOUR! They normally retail for $18, so when you think about it, this set breaks down to $7.50 per tube, which definitely beats paying $72 if you were to buy each of them individually. 

For those of you that haven't tried these, I will forewarn you that they are not for everyone. I have read so many reviews where people complain about the smell (my four range from fruity to caramel/vanilla, depending on the shade), the fact that these are sticky, and people's preference for a lip gloss with a wand (these are a squeeze tube with a slant tip applicator). So, your mileage may vary depending on what your personal preferences are. Obviously, I like them enough to have splurged for four at the same time. 

Simmer, Melon, Pamplemousse, and Caramel Gospel

Simmer, Melon, Pamplemousse, and Caramel Gospel

Simmer, Melon, Pamplemousse, and Caramel Gospel - I tried a slightly different angle, hoping you would be able to see the different sparkle/dimension.

As you can tell, they're on the sheerer side, which (again) is either a pro or a con, depending on your personal preference. I personally prefer sheerer lipcolors these days because I've definitely entered the lazy/no fuss rut in my life where I don't want to be bothered touching up lipstick all the time or having my lips dry out.

Oh, and if neutrals aren't your thing, there is a pink set also available. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Beauty Minimalism Snapshot

Beauty Minimalism Snapshot


Clearly I was bored and playing around on Polyvore, so I figured I would share what my ultimately whittled down collection might one day look like. Obviously, this wouldn't be all of it, but it was enough to give you the general gist. 

Featured Products

Lorac Unzipped palette Everyone should know by now how much I love a warm, shimmery, bronzey eye, but in case you missed me blathering on about how much I love this palette, please refer back to the Perfect Palette Tag, Question 4 (and kind of 8). 

Lorac Pro Palette This one has pretty much any other color I could possibly need. And I couldn't just pick one palette. It actually pained me to just pick two. 

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium This is awesome for lazy brow days, and I can always use one of the brown eyeshadows if I need more/precise definition.

the Balm Mary Lou Manizer It's shimmery and champagney and pretty and can double as yet another eyeshadow, in case the two aforementioned palettes weren't enough.

IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butter I would take any shade, really, because they're so sheer and moisturizing and pretty much go with anything. I would also be happy with Lipstick Queen in Medieval or Saint Pinky Nude. Or my Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait. Basically any lip product with some color, that actually moisturizes for a decent amount of time, that isn't fussy to apply or one that I fear smearing around during the day, and that I can put in my pocket without it melting (Fresh Sugar Balms, I'm talking to you!). 

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly I love that I can use this without foundation and it actually matches my skin! It's the closest thing I've found to my beloved (and discontinued ::shakesfist::) MUFE Full Cover Concealer #2.

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder It's wonderful to set your undereye concealer with. Some people use it as a subtle highlight, too, but I like a little more BAM! on my cheeks.

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Stingray (and Lionfish, not pictured) I think everyone needs a black and a brown and these two are pretty much everything I could ever want in eyeliners. I actually hope to one day get rid of ALL of my eyeliner, except for Stila Smudge Sticks. 

And last but not least, my HG mascara, Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume. I don't care what color it comes in, brown, black/brown, or very black. I love this mascara. I've purchased umpteen tubes of it since it launched... like eight years ago? 

Products Not Featured (because I could only fit so much in the collage... but still find them necessary)

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly or Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze and/or Creamy Beige I love all three of these bases for different reasons. I use one of them every day, I kid you not, depending on what color I'm planning on putting on top of them.

Lorac Behind the Scenes primer For the days that I know I'm going to be up 24+ hours, or when I want to be extra sure my eyeshadow doesn't go anywhere

Cover Girl Pressed or Loose Powder I bounce back and forth between the two. It's what I've used since I first got into makeup when I was just a wee lass, raiding my sister's makeup bag. Some people say the powder smells, but I quite like it. And I've yet to find a more expensive product that beats it.

Jack Black Lip Balm (or any other HG balm that may come along) I can't believe I didn't put a lip balm in my collage, ::face.palm:: Oh well... It's a given. Anywhere I go, Jack comes with. It's such an everyday-don't-even-think-about-it type of thing, because there's always one in my pocket. Always. And if I somehow manage to leave the house without one, I go buy one. That's how hoarding starts, people. 

IT Cosmetics Bye-Bye Under Eye Corrector in Light Some days my translucent under eyes are particularly shadowy and this stuff makes me look human again. The NARS is good, don't get me wrong, but sometimes by the end of the day the blue starts to creep back in, unless I have a layer of IT on first. 

And last but not least, if I get to pick another brow product (not very minimalist, I know...), I pick the IT Cosmetics Brow Power pencil. They last forever. I love the spoolie on the other end. Brow Power and Benefit's Gimme Brow were just made for each other. 


If you're ever bored, I suggest playing around on Polyvore, or actually going through your collection and just challenging yourself to hypothetically pare things down. Like the Perfect Palette Tag, it's a great way to re-evaluate your makeup collection compared to your actual needs/preferences. I honestly don't know when or if I'll ever have a collection this "small," but it's something I can keep in the back of my mind whenever I get palette goggles for the latest, greatest release. Writers refer to their SNI "Shiny New Idea" that tends to take over and distract them from current works in progress; I, on the other hand, have an issue with SNP "Shiny New Palette" and I've been working really hard to break the habit. Maybe I'll actually try the Pan That Palette Challenge in 2015 and see what kind of damage I can do. Some of the girls on You Tube are going to work on the Lorac Pro, but I feel like I should pick something older, like my Lancome/MAC palettes or UD Naked. I still have some time to mull it over... 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween FOTD

Here's a little belated Halloween FOTD for you. We had our annual Halloween party on Saturday, November 1st and I went as Cleopatra, which was a first for me. I practiced doing my makeup once beforehand and it turned out terribly. I was going to do it again and then time got away from me... so the night of the party I got ready three hours beforehand just to make sure I had enough time to fix things in case they went awry. I'm happy to report they went much more smoothly the second time.


Please excuse the stray red hair poking out...
...aaaand please excuse any stray little black hairs you see. I had to trim the bangs on the wig and the cut ends kept re-appearing all night.
Breakdown:

  • IT Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair
  • Lancome Maquicomplet Concealer in Ivoire
  • Cover Girl Clean Powder in 510 Classic Ivory
  • MAC Accentuate Sculpt & Shape Powder to contour and highlight
  • L'Oreal Lush Raven eyeshadow in my brows, with some Physician's Formula Eye Boost in Ultra Black to add extra depth and fake hairs (although you can't see them)
  • Flirt! 40 Palette eyeshadows in dark green, teal, gold, and charcoal. 
  • Maybelline Master Drama pencil eyeliner in Midnight Master
  • Maybelline Lasting Drama gel eyeliner in black
  • Physician's Formula Eye Booster in Ultra Black to smooth things out
  • Cover Girl Waterproof Lash Blast Mascara in Very Black
  • NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee