Friday, August 7, 2015

July 2015 Empties

Hello there everyone! I know I've been MIA for the past week, and it's been killing me because I have SO many awesome posts queued up that I seriously can't wait to finish writing. I honestly can't believe a week of August has already gone by, and I haven't even had a chance to finish up things from July! As anyone else who appreciates Ebaum's World flash cartoons would say, WTF, mate? Anyway, it's time for another round of digging through my trash-to-be. I skipped out on the empties last month because I was close to finishing a bunch of things, and now I've got a huge stockpile of plastic tubes and bottles to sift through. Here are some final thoughts on the most noteworthy products I've finished up in the past two months!

Skincare. Shaving is of high importance in the summer months, especially when you've got dark hair and want to wear a dress at every possible opportunity. After all the fuss I'd heard over Whish Shave Cream ($20), I was pretty pumped to try out this sample, hoping it would give me extra smooth and happy legs. Ultimately, it worked well enough, but wasn't something that I ended up falling in love with. It's got a thick, silk-cream texture, but doesn't lather up a lot on your legs. It does help your razor glide smoothly, but also clogs it up really quickly. I love that it's packed full of natural ingredients, but I honestly don't think this made my skin feel any more hydrated than any other shave cream. Considering how pricey a full sized bottle is, I don't think I'll be investing in one any time soon.

Of course, sometimes a product that you think is mediocre can end up growing on you over time, as was the case with The Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Make-up Remover ($17). I'd bought this a long time ago, and it had been sequestered to the back of my bathroom cabinet for some time. However, when the need to crack open a new bottle of makeup remover came along, I decided to give this another go. While this claims to be a gentle formula, I find that it's also not the best for heavy duty makeup removal, so what you gain in a lighter formula you may also lose if you're tempted to rub your eyes trying to get your mascara off. Your best bet is to hold a cotton pad soaked with this stuff to your eye for a good 30 seconds to break everything down before you start to try and wipe it away.  I find it works great for removing residual makeup after cleansing and it doesn't leave any greasy residue behind.

Speaking of cleansers, I finally said goodbye to my No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser ($9.99). This was such a great find, and I really loved using it all winter. I liked to apply this to my skin dry, so that it really started to break down all the dirt and makeup on my skin, and then wet my hands to transform it into a milky lather. It leaves your skin feeling incredibly moisturized and soft, and feels really luxurious for a drugstore product. I think I'll definitely be repurchasing this in the future, although I might wait until it gets cooler again, as my skin is extra oily in the summer and doesn't need quite so rich a cleanser at the moment.

On the other hand, the Boscia Purifying Gel Cleanser ($26) is the perfect summertime cleanser to combat the greasies without being overly drying. This stuff is a little pricey, but it lathers up so incredibly well that you really don't need to use a lot of product each time you wash your face. Boscia is one of those brands that I feel flies under the radar a bit, but was one of the first I used when I started to get serious about my skincare regiment. While they aren't an "all natural" brand, they are definitely really ingredient-conscious and I think make some great quality products. On a similar note, I also finished up a sample of the Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel ($38) which was equally awesome. This cooling gel is perfect for oily or combo skin, as it does a great job of hydrating while also keeping your skin feeling fresh and matte. The price tag makes me want to cry a little inside, but if I was going to splurge on a moisturizer, this would definitely be a top contender.

Rounding up my skincare empties was a sample of the Glamglow Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment ($69). I think I got two or three good uses out of this tiny tube, which was nice because this mask is SUPER expensive and I really can't justify buying a full sized tub anytime soon. I definitely feel like this mask refined my pores and made my skin smoother and firmer, so I'm sure that it would do wonders for your complexion with regular use. I can totally appreciate that celebrities swear by this stuff, but my normal girl budget means I'll be sticking to some much more affordable options for now.

Hair Care. I don't know why it always seems to take me FOREVER to go through shampoo and conditioner, especially considering the fact that I wash my hair pretty much every day, but alas, for now I just have a few minis from my travel bag that I've managed to get through. First up are the L'Oreal OleoTherapy Oil Infused Shampoo ($6.99) & Conditioner ($6.99), which I've already purchased full sizes of and are standing by in my cabinet stock pile for their turn to grace my shower. Even though this is an oil-infused formula I didn't find it to be heavy on my hair. It's really gentle and nourishing, but still manages to do a great job of getting your hair clean. It's also free of sulfates, so you don't have to worry about your hair becoming stripped or brittle. Basically I think the entire L'Oreal Ever collection is one of the best hair care lines you can find at the drugstore, and I'd highly recommend checking them out!

I also finished up a sample bottle of the Number 4 Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo ($32) that I got from Birchbox. The designation "clarifying" made me a little nervous at first, but when I realized that this was a sulfate free formulation and actually gave it a go I totally fell in love. In a weird way the texture of this shampoo was very similar to the L'Oreal one I was just talking about in that they are both very viscous and glossy, and have a way of leaving your hair feeling really silky instead of dry or straw like. Having tried other shampoos from Number 4 through Birchbox before, I'd say that this is definitely my favorite so far. However, it still is very expensive and I'm not sure with having such great, affordable drugstore options that I'd want to spend the money on a full sized bottle of it.

Makeup. To the surprise of no one, most of my makeup empties are mascaras and eyeliners that I'm only chucking for hygienic purposes. I don't know about you, but actually using an entire makeup product is REALLY difficult. I suppose it doesn't help that I'm always buying and trying new things so that I can review them here, but I swear, even for those of you with reasonable makeup collections, doesn't hitting pan feel like such an accomplishment? ANYWAY...moving on to the Too Faced Lashgasm Mascara ($21). I honestly wasn't too impressed with this one. I'm thinking that my tube may have been a little old because the formula on this was really dry and I didn't feel like it did a whole lot for my lashes. The wand was also really thin and spikey and not necessarily very easy to work with.  Basically it wasn't the worst mascara I've ever tried, but it also wasn't anything special, either. Definitely not something I'd recommend spending $20 on.

On the other hand, the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara ($24) was a total hit for me. While the wand on this mascara is also plastic and on the spikey side, its curved shape makes it so much easier and comfortable to use. The formula was totally smudge and flake free, and looked great on my lashes all day. I will say that you'll get more of a long, defined, and curled look with this mascara, versus heavy volume and drama, so it might not be everyone's cup of tea. I personally thought it was great for everyday wear, and really enjoyed using it. I'm not sure yet whether or not I'll be buying the full size, because mascara is one of those products I think the drugstore also does really well, but if you're looking for something a little more splurgey this is a great option.

Another sample I got and totally used to death was the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream ($38). This stuff was AWESOME. For a CC cream it had a ton of coverage, and left your skin looking flawless and glowing. The formula is very hydrating, so oily skinned gals may need to set this down with some powder to reduce shine, while those with dry skin will probably be in love. It also has SPF 50, which makes it perfect for summertime wear. I would definitely consider purchasing the full size of this when I'm in the market for BB or CC cream again (I'm currently on a mission to finish up a tube of Supergoop! CC).

Last but certainly not least I've decided to pitch my Maybelline Master Precise Ink Pen Eyeliner ($7.99) mostly because I've had it for over a year and I think it's not good to hold on to liquid eye products for too long. For a drugstore eyeliner, this was actually pretty solid. The formula is definitely not as long wearing as something from Stila or Lorac, but it also doesn't smudge and crumble after a few hours. I found the felt tip to be really soft, flexible, and easy to use, and the formula to give you a nice, inky black line. If you're someone who is new to liquid eyeliner and doesn't want to drop a ton of cash buying something to play around with, or if you're traveling and want an affordable liner that you wouldn't cry over losing, this is a great option to pick up.

And that about wraps things up! My July favorites will also be coming out soon, so stay on the lookout for that in the next couple of days. In the meantime, I hope you all have wonderful weekends ahead!

Have you finished up any beauty products this month? What will you be repurchasing?

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