Twelve Days of Empties: DAY 5

Today’s post is a short one – a few different cleansing wipes and some blotting sheets to review. I know that makeup wipes are not the greatest for your skin, but at the end of a long day, sometimes it’s just the quickest way to get to bed without compromising cleansing my skin, so I make the exception on days when I have to get to work early and I need to be in bed ASAP.

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First up, the Equate Facial Cleansing Wipes. These are the Walmart knock-off of the Neutrogena wipes, and I found them quite irritating to the skin. Would not repurchase.

The Life Brand 3-in-1 Facial Cleansing Wipes were not bad. They did a good job at removing my makeup without leaving my face super red, but they didn’t wow me. I would repurchase in a pinch.

The Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes were pretty good. Of the three I’ve used recently, this was my favourite. I would repurchase this next time I go travelling, as I am trying not to use them when I am at home.

Last but not least, Watson’s Facial Absorbent Paper. I bought a two-pack of these when I was in Taiwan a few years ago, and I am still using it up. It did a solid job in getting rid of my oil. Would repurchase if I ever go back to Taiwan.

That’s it for my short post today! See you tomorrow for more!

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Twelve Days of Empties: DAY 4

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Welcome back for another round! Today’s post is a series of random empties that didn’t quite fit the trends of the first three posts.

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First up, hair products! The Herbal Essences Wild Naturals Rejuvenating Oil Elixir was actually sent to me from one of the product testing companies a few years back. I actually loved this product, it was light enough that it didn’t weigh my oily hair down, but gave it a nice shiny finish. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find it again in the drugstores, but if I did ever run across it again I would stock up. You don’t need much, so this bottle lasted me about two years.

Batiste Dry Shampoo is a holy grail – nothing more needs to be said. The darker ones are my preference since I don’t have to work it in too much, and it actually lightens my hair colour a bit and gives it dimension. I have about 5 backups right now.

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The Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover is an easy way to get rid of your waterproof mascara. I would just plop the cotton pad on my eye for about 10 seconds and then wipe gently, and the mascara would come off effortlessly. I would repurchase this, except that I am trying a Vichy one right now that’s a little cheaper and seems to be working quite well, so that may be come my new go-to makeup remover.

The Body Shop All-in-One Concealer Stick in 02 is something I bought and rarely used. It’s so drying on the skin, and I have very oily skin so that’s saying something. There’s supposed to be a moisturizing part that runs through the middle of the concealer tube, but mine was never moisturizing. It also fell out of the tube at some point, so the picture you see above has it stuck back inside the tube. Huge miss on this one for me.

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That’s all for today, folks! See you tomorrow!

Twelve Days of Empties: DAY 3

Welcome back to day 3 of the Twelve Days of Empties! Today we’ll be looking at base products for the face:

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The first product is The Ordinary’s HIgh Spreadability Fluid Primer. I have mixed feelings about this primer; it feels amazing going on the skin, but I don’t think it prolonged the wear of my foundation, and it also ran out really quickly. I bought it in June and was finished by the end of August, despite it having the 30 mL like most other primers. The typical 30 mL primer would usually last almost a year for me, so I don’t know what happened there. My friend said the same for hers, so it’s not just me. That being said, I would consider repurchasing it because it did feel great every time I applied it.

The next two are not actually empties, but tosses. The L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Foundation was given to me, and I think I have only used it a handful of times because it was too dark for my skin tone. I am tossing it because I have had it for way too long, and I don’t think they even make this anymore. I think they may have replaced it with the Infallible Pro Matte and Pro Glow foundations, which I am totally ok with. It was a mediocre foundation at best, whereas the Pro Matte would totally be a drugstore holy grail, if only they had a shade that matches me.

The Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream in Buttercream is totally a “YouTube Made Me Buy It” product. I bought it after Estee Lalonde raved about it, and this was before I figured out that Sephora takes returns, because if I had known, it probably would have gone right back to the store. It is terrible; the texture was off putting, the coverage was very light, and the worst part of it was the smell. It had some weird chemically smell every time I used it, and it didn’t fade as you wore it. I had to wear so much concealer with it that it basically wasn’t worth the effort, and I could never get over the smell. I hung on to it in hopes that I would change my mind over it, but it never happened.

The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer was another product that a lot of YouTubers raved about, so when I got a deluxe sample with my Sephora order, I was excited to try it. It actually feels pretty good on the skin, not too heavy but provides a good amount of coverage. It did oxidize a little on my skin if I remember correctly, so that’s definitely something to take into consideration when picking a shade. I enjoyed using it while it lasted, but I don’t know that I would repurchase it just because there are other similar products that I enjoyed more.

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Above: L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Foundation, Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream in Buttercream, and Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Sand.

That’s it for today! See you tomorrow for more empties!

Twelve Days of Empties: DAY 2

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Welcome back to the Twelve Days of Empties! Today’s post features some makeup products that have made it to my empties.

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First, let’s start off with the Physician’s Formula Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Blush in Natural. As you can see, it’s not empty, but I have had this for about 5 years now, and I used it daily for a long time when I first got it (I think this was the first blush I had ever bought, actually). It gives your cheeks a nice flush of colour without being too bold, and the brush that came with it was actually decent; I used it for the longest time before I bought any actual brushes. I have barely touched this in the past two years though, and my blush collection has grown a lot since I first bought it, so I think it’s time to go.

I received the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer in Medium/Deep from an Ipsy bag a couple of years ago. It’s actually quite a good bronzer; even though it’s for a medium/deep skin tone, I found that I could get away with using a light hand, and I quite enjoyed it during the summer. However, mine broke as you can see, so it’s a toss. I think I will purchase the Milk Chocolate shade during the next Sephora sale.

The Essence All About Matte! Compact Fixing Powder is one of my favourite drugstore powders. I actually think I have finished and repurchased more of these than the Rimmel Stay Matte powder, just because it’s a bit of a finer consistency compared to the Rimmel one. It doesn’t keep my face matte for quite as long as the Rimmel one, but it looks less cakey. I have already panned another one of these, so you may see it in another empties soon.

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The last two products are lip products. The picture above (from left to right) shows swatches of the Kanebo Coffret D’Or in PK-312, the Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Ballet Twist, and the Physician’s Formula blush in Natural.

The Kanebo Coffret D’Or Lipstick in PK-312 was a sample I received from a random salesperson who was handing them out in the shopping district of Osaka. I regretted not trying the sample while I was in Japan because this lipstick is AMAZING. It feels like a balm going on, but it leaves your lips looking so fresh and juicy. I really want to purchase the full size if I ever go back to Japan.

The Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Ballet Twist is again, one of the first makeup products I purchased. It was an easy beginner lip product, because it wasn’t tinted enough to need any skill to stay in the lip line, it was moisturizing enough that my lips didn’t look dry and cracked, and it left a pretty tint on the lips. I would recommend this product for a beginner’s makeup kit, except I don’t think they even make this any more.

That’s it for today! See you tomorrow for more empties!

Twelve Days of Empties: DAY 1

Hello all –

It’s been a while. 2017 has been a turbulent year for me, both mentally and physically. I am looking forward to starting a new year come January 1st, but I figured I would take the upcoming days to post about the empties I’ve gone through over the last six months. I have kept track of them, and I want to share them as a badge of accomplishment.

There will be 10 posts of empties, each featuring mini reviews of the products I have finished up, and the last two posts will be items I have chosen to target specifically for project pan for 2018.

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First off, some of my summer skincare products:

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I used up two sunscreens this summer. The Neutrogena UltraSheer Water-Light face sunscreen was not great for me. It has a thin consistency, as the name would indicate, but it felt oily going on, and seemed like it was causing my makeup to slide off my face in the summer heat. It also went on with a bit of a white cast, and the smell was the very typical sunscreen smell that I personally am not a fan of. Would not repurchase; I actually ended up using this up on my neck by the end of it just to finish it up.

The Biore UV AQUA Rich Watery Gel was more enjoyable to use compared to the Neutrogena one, but I think I actually prefer Biore’s UV AQUA Rich Watery Essence. Both are SPF 50+ PA++++, but I find their names a little misleading because the “gel” was more of a watery essence consistency and the “essence” comes out more of a firm gel consistency. Both sit great under my makeup, but the “gel” has a bit of an alcohol-y smell that the “essence” doesn’t have, and I find that the “essence” helps to mattify my oily face a bit better. Both are available from Japan – I bought the essence the first time I went, and then purchased the gel from Ebay, but I have since repurchased a few tubes of the essence.

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Next up, two products from The Ordinary. I feel like the Deciem brand is the most hyped up skincare brand of 2017, and I mean, who doesn’t want affordable skincare that actually works? The Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA felt great going on, and I do feel like it did well to lighten up my dark spots. I actually did notice a visible difference while using it; however, I ran out in September and since then I have noticed that my hyperpigmentation has darkened back to its original colour. I have recently repurchased this, so I look forward to re-trying it to confirm that it works for me.

The Buffet is on the higher end of The Ordinary’s line, at $14.80 CAD. In comparison to a lot of the high end skincare products, this could be considered super cheap, especially since they appear to have a lot of anti-aging  ingredients in it. I really did enjoy the feel of this going on, however my problem is… I don’t have a lot of wrinkles right now, as an almost-30 year old, so I am not really seeing any visible effects from using this serum. At this point in my life, I am choosing to prioritize other benefits over this one, so this may be something I repurchase in the future when I start seeing more signs of aging, but for now I will just stick to sunscreen as my main anti-aging potion.

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Now for the minis – the Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior Eye Dark Circle Eraser is a deluxe sample I received when I placed a Sephora order. I was really excited to try this new product, because if you know me, you’ll know my dark circles are fierce. The sample lasted me about 2 weeks of daily use and unfortunately I saw no difference in my dark circles, so this is a miss.

I received the NeoStrata Glycolic Renewal samples in a kit with their salicylic acid product as well, which I am still using. The kit came with the 5% glycolic acid Smoothing Cream and the 10% glycolic acid Smoothing Lotion, and you were supposed to apply the salicylic acid first, then the glycolic acid, starting with the 5% and working your way to the 10%. As an AHA, it did a fine job, but as a product, the smell of it really put me off. I have other AHA options that will do the same thing for me without the odor, so this is also a pass.

That concludes DAY 1 of the Twelve Days of Empties. See you tomorrow for more empties!

Review: Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer in Light Bronze

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This is another YouTube-inspired purchase – the drugstore bronzer that everyone is raving about. I picked this up in April after months of hearing good reviews about it, and it took me a while to really get around to trying it for the sole reason that people warn you about – the scent.

I knew going in that there was a strong scent associated with the product; every single YouTuber who reviewed it mentioned this, but it was described as a coconut scent, like that of a pina colata or a tropical sunscreen. Here’s my problem – to me, it doesn’t smell like any pina colata I have ever had, nor any sunscreen I have ever used. It’s a distinct, sharp smell that I don’t even know how to describe. It radiates from the product too; when I open my makeup drawer, I can immediately smell it. Maybe I am just sensitive to smells, but for, it’s a very in-your-face scent.

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Barring that, the product itself is great. It picks up easily on the brush and blends in like a dream. I picked up the shade light bronze, which is the newer of the two shades, but I think it suits my current skin tone quite well.

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The underside of the packaging has a mirror and a sponge applicator. I have tried using the applicator, but it doesn’t blend very well, so I prefer using a fluffy brush to blend it in.

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The above swatches are the butter bronzer in light bronze, Benefit’s Hoola bronzer, and Tarte’s Park Ave Princess bronzer. As you can see, the butter bronzer is lighter and warmer compared to the other two bronzers. In fact, I think light bronze might be a closer match to Hoola Lite, but as I do not have Hoola Lite, I can’t say for certain.

All-in-all, I like the shade and the application of the Murumuru Butter Bronzer, and I am gradually get used to the scent of it. For those with sensitive noses, you may want to pass just based on the scent alone. Otherwise, a great option from the drugstore to get that summer bronze.

5 Face Products I’ve been loving this month

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As summer has come in and the weather has gotten a lot warmer, my face has gotten a lot more oily than it usually is. Unsurprisingly, I have been leaning towards longer-lasting products in my makeup routine. These are the 5 products I have been reaching for the most in the last few weeks:

1) Tarte Shape Tape Concealer: I use the shade Light Neutral, and when I initially got it, it was a tad bit dark on me, but as my skin is slowly going towards my summer shade, Light Neutral works great. It’s a full coverage concealer, so I use it to conceal the redness in my skin, and my dark circles, and does a great job for both. Having so much coverage allows me to go lighter on my foundation, which I am all for during the summer.

2) Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in Fair-Light Neutral is a product I bought as part of the 7-piece custom set promotion that they ran a few months ago, and I actually like this a lot more than I thought I would. I haven’t had the best experience with powder foundations in the past, so I was pleasantly surprised that I could build up the coverage with this and it still looks natural on the skin. It does start to look shiny on my skin after a few hours though, so I do set it with a setting powder. It feels lightweight on my skin though, which has sold the product to me.

3) Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder has been one of my holy grail products for many years. I have strayed away from it, but I always come back to it during the hottest parts of the summer. It isn’t the most finely milled powder, so sometimes you can look a bit cakey if you put too much on, but nothing compares to it in terms of keeping my foundation from melting off my face in the middle of summer.

4) Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed – yes, I do realize this is the third Tarte product on this list, but this is another product I picked up in the 7-piece custom set promotion. It is a highly raved-about shade on YouTube, but I never really paid much attention to it until a friend of mine recommended it to me. It doesn’t look like much in the pan, but on the face, it gives a wonderful, natural-looking flush to the skin, and it doesn’t quite last 12 hours, but it lasts through my work day, so I have no complaints.

5) ELF Baked Highligher in Moonlight Pearls is a beautiful shade that looks like a natural glow on my skin tone. It’s not the most pigmented highlighter, but I love the effect it gives me when used with a fluffy highlighter brush. I’ve been picking this one up over my Becca highlighters recently, which says a lot about how much I like this product.

There we have it, my quick and easy make-up routine for the beginning of summer.

Till next time,

B