June Empties

Hello friends! I’ve had a busy few weeks, filled with birthdays (mine, my dad’s and my mom’s) and Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations, but I have managed to use up a lot of products this month.

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Starting off with skincare, I finished the Olay Regenerist Luminous Dark Circle Correcting HydraSwirl, which I reviewed a few months back. It did help brighten my undereye circles, but was not hydrating enough for my liking.

I finished my second sample size of the Neostrata Acne Clear Clarifying Gel Cleanser, which contains 2% salicylic acid. I actually enjoyed using this cleanser in terms of the texture and feel of it, but I am currently using the corresponding 2% salicylic acid leave on treatment, I don’t really feel that a cleanser containing the same ingredient is necessary at this point.

The Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner was a product that I really wanted to try out when it first launched, so when it came out as a 100-point perk at Sephora, I snatched it up. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to its hype; it was an interesting consistency going on, but I don’t feel like it did anything for my pores or keeping my face matte.

This is my second sample of the Tarte Maracuja Oil, and I didn’t like it as much as I remembered. I had used this oil a few summers back and I remember it feeling great on my skin at night, but this time around I felt like it left my skin feeling greasy, with the oil sitting on top of my skin instead of absorbing into it.

The Olay Touch of Concealer Eye Regenerating Cream is a tinted eye cream. To be honest, I have had this sample for maybe 5+ years? I haven’t even used it in the last few years, so it’s more of a toss than an empty.

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I finished two micellar waters, a travel size of the Bioderma Sebium Micellar Water (for oily skin) and the Garnier Micellar Water. I did a comparison between the Garnier and Bioderma micellar waters a few posts back, and in a head to head comparison, the Bioderma won, but I’m not averse to repurchasing the Garnier option because of the price difference. I didn’t find much of a difference between the Sebium and the Sensibio versions of the Biodermas either; both worked great in cleansing my skin.

I picked up the Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Essence on a whim a while back, and I really liked it. I’m not sure what it really did for my skin, but it felt really good applied to the face, and worked great as a base under my sunscreen. I think this product was recently replaced by the Dior Hydra Life Deep Hydration Sorbet Water Essence, but I probably wouldn’t have repurchased it anyway, since that it didn’t work any miracles on my skin that I would have expected given the price tag.

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I also finished the Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream, which I reviewed a few months ago. I felt like it did brighten my skin quite a bit, but the fact that it leaves a slight white cast and takes a few minutes to absorb into my skin throws me off from repurchasing it immediately. I have also picked up another niacinamide product that I have been testing, so I’m not in any rush to repurchase immediately.

The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is very hydrating. I used it mostly on my legs, which were super dry during the winter months. It did a good job, but I didn’t like the fact that I had to dip my hands into the huge pot. I think I will purchase the lotion formulation instead, which comes in a pump bottle.

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The L’Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in 339 Stone Crystal is actually a product I received in a grab bag. I have barely used it, but it’s getting tossed because 1) the colour makes my lips look dead, and 2) the texture of the product feels like sand on my lips. It is a light pink metallic shade that is terribly unflattering on my skin tone, and when applied on the lips, it feels very gritty. I have tried to make this work, but it is a lost cause. It also smells like old lipstick, which doesn’t make me want to purchase any other colours from this line.

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The Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in tbt was part of a set that I bought with the Tartelette Tease Palette and the Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara. I think I have used this product less than 5 times since I got it. The colour was very unflattering on my lips, and made my lips look dried out and cracked. I actually took this product out to swatch it to compare it to the one I got as part of my Sephora birthday gift this year, and found that it was dried out, which honestly is no loss for me.

The Benefit Roller Lash and the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascaras are supposed to be dupes for each other, and I did a comparison of the two here. I liked the Maybelline one better, but I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite drugstore mascara, and I probably won’t repurchase either.

The NYC Big Bold Curl Mascara is actually a repurchase. I received my first tube in an Ipsy bag and loved the effect on my lashes, mostly because of how wet the formulation is. This time around, I did still enjoy the formula, and as you can see in the picture below, it hasn’t dried out any. I have had this tube for too long though, but I will consider repurchasing this in the future again.

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The Essence SuperFine Waterproof Eyeliner was a terrible purchase. I have heard great things about the Essence eyeliners, but this particular one flopped hard. The whole selling point is the felt tip that’s supposed to draw a super fine line right? Well, that would be great if the product actually would get to the tip of the liner. The tip is super long, and the liquid would get stuck in the middle of the tip, so when you try to draw a line, nothing comes out. It was such a frustrating experience, and I don’t think I even go a single use out of this liner. Don’t waste your money on this, folks. Get the dip liner if you want to try an Essence eyeliner.

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Last but not least, I finished another box of the Shiseido Cotton Pads. These are the Japanese ones that I picked up during my trip, and they are 100% worth it. They go for $3-4 CDN in Japan, which is a lot cheaper than the $11 CDN that they sell for here. If you have a chance, stock up in Japan.

There we have it, folks. Another month of beauty trash. Hopefully the trend of working through my stash will continue, though I have picked up several new skincare products recently…

Talk to y’all soon!

Love, B

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Comparison: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Solution vs Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

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I was first introduced to micellar water through YouTube – more specifically, the Bioderma Senisibio H2O Micellar Solution, a cult classic. It was touted as a skin cleanser that removes makeup without having to use water, and I have to agree with all of that. It is gentle on my skin, and does a decent job at removing make up without leaving an oily residue, which makes the nighttime cleanse a lot more enjoyable. It has never irritated my eyes when I use it to remove eye makeup, though if I am wearing waterproof liner or mascara I usually need a second round with an actual eye makeup remover. I use micellar water as either my initial makeup removal step, followed by a cleanser, or as a second step after a makeup wipe if I am wearing a full face of makeup, before cleanser.

When Garnier released their own version of micellar water several months ago, the online beauty community blew up, calling it a dupe for the Bioderma, so of course I had to try for myself. The Bioderma retails for $24.90 for the 500 mL bottle or $18.90 for the 250 mL bottle at Shoppers Drug Mart, whereas the Garnier one retails for $7.97 for 400 mL at Walmart. Price per mL, the Garnier is a lot cheaper, but in terms of effectiveness, how does it compare?

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Here are some swatches of the ELF Molten Liquid Eyeshadow, the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil, the Essence Waterproof Dip Eyeliner (excuse my crooked line), and the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon. Using the Garnier micellar water on the left and the Bioderma on the right, the below images show the results after a single swipe of micellar water on a cotton pad, and then after 5 seconds of rubbing with the cotton pad.

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I was actually surprised to see that the Bioderma was better at removing the makeup than the Garnier. When you use a product individually, it’s hard to tell that there’s a difference since you’re not comparing them directly, and it’s been a while since I’ve used the Bioderma, as you can tell by the fact that my Garnier bottle is almost empty and the Bioderma bottle is freshly opened. Neither product did much to remove the Marc Jacobs Highliner, but both removed the other three products with a bit more rubbing.

The conclusion from this little experiment is that the Garnier is not quite as effective as the Bioderma, but can result in the same end result with a little bit more work. It’s a good drugstore alternative, but doesn’t quite hit the mark as a dupe.

May Empties

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I have been making a real effort to finish up a lot of my minis over the last few months, and I think I did well in that aspect. I tend to enjoy switching up products on a day-to-day basis, so I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished this month.

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Of the three eye creams that I used up this month, the Clinique All About Eyes is my favourite. This is actually a repurchase; I have probably finished 3 or 4 of these over the years. I think it’s a great, light moisturizing cream that works well for day and night use, and it’s the one I default to when I don’t want to try a new product.

The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye is a sample size that I got in a gift with purchase. The consistency is almost like an ointment, but without the greasy feel to it. I liked it, but the gripe I have with it is the price. I know that it’s meant to be an anti-aging product, but I didn’t see any difference in my eye area while using it, so I don’t think I would dish out the $74 CDN to repurchase it.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate Serum was more of a spontaneous purchase when I was putting in an order, and I probably won’t repurchase it. The rollerball felt great on the eyes, and the actual formulation felt more like a gel compared to a normal serum. It didn’t, however, have any visible effects on my eye area, and I didn’t feel like it was moisturizing enough for my liking. Also, there were little specks of glimmer in the product that I didn’t care for.

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The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair was another product that came in that gift with purchase. It was such a hyped up product that I expected a visible difference while using it, but again, it failed to deliver. I know that anti-aging products are meant for long term benefits, but I think this product is targeted towards an older skin type, and I don’t feel that I need this product right now in my skincare regimen.

The Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask is one of my favourite Clinique products. I have gone through multiple samples of it, and I find that even though its intended use is for overnight, it works great during the day as well, underneath my makeup (see my previous post on the Covergirl Clean Matte BB Cream). I probably will purchase the full size at some point, once I’ve whittled down some of current stash.

The Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb is a product that my friend recommended to me. She considers this her holy grail, and sent me a sample of it, along with the Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. It was indeed very moisturizing, but I couldn’t stand the herbal smell, so it’s a pass for me.

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The Equate Oil-Free Facial Cleansing Wipes are meant to be a dupe for the Clean & Clear ones. I haven’t tried the Clean & Clear ones, but the Equate ones did a good job at removing the makeup from my skin at the end of the day. I still had to go in with a waterproof eye makeup remover, but this worked as a good first cleanse. It did leave my skin red and a little irritated afterwards though, so I may or may not repurchase.

The La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel is actually a pretty enjoyable cleanser to use. It’s a soap-free facial cleanser that doesn’t strip my skin, and it’s meant to be for people who are oily and acne-prone, so it’s right up my alley. I might purchase this in the future.

The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam was again, part of the gift with purchase. It was not memorable; I didn’t like or dislike it, it was just a product that was there to be used up. It was actually used up quite quickly though, and it did foam pretty well as per its name.

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The Avene Thermal Spring Water was something I received as a sample for purchasing a different item. It feels really nice and cool coming out of the can. I enjoyed using it after I had cleansed my face at night, before applying my night time skincare. It was nice to have, but not something I would go out and purchase for myself.

The Dove Clinical Protection deodorant worked well as an antiperspirant, but I feel like I finished it really quickly compared to most others. I probably will repurchase this though, especially with the upcoming summer heat.

The Sephora Mini Blush Cleanser was my first venture into using solid soap cleansers for my brushes. It definitely made cleaning my brushes a lot easier compared to use liquid soaps, especially with the mat to work the makeup out of the brush head. I have already repurchased this in the full size.

The classic Beauty Blender was something that I hesitated over buying for the longest time. However, it is definitely worth the hype! The texture is so much softer than the Quo ones that I have been using, and now that it’s time to toss this and I’ve gone back to a Quo one, I can definitely notice the difference. I will be repurchasing this ASAP.

The Essence Waterproof Eyeliner Pen is not technically dried up, but the tip on this is so horrible that I can never get a clean line with it. I’ve just given up on it, won’t be repurchasing.

Well that’s a wrap! I am pretty proud of myself this month. Gotta keep working on my stash!

March and April Empties

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I have used up a lot of sample-sized products the last two months, mostly because I was travelling in March and brought mostly sample sizes of everything. Here’s my mini reviews and thoughts on whether I would purchase the full size.

The Face Shop Charcoal Cleansing Foam: This was a good face wash. It cleansed without stripping my skin completely, and I felt like it did a good job in balancing my oil production. It was fairly inexpensive too, now that the Face Shop has opened a bunch of stores in Canada. Repurchase? Maybe, when I use it up my stockpile of cleansers.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum and Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet: As I have a review on these two products, I won’t say too much here, but I didn’t really like them enough to repurchase.

Eucerin Skin Calming Daily Moisturizing Cream: I picked this up while in LA last year because my hands were ghastly dry. The product does do a good job at moisturizing the skin without irritating it, but it didn’t sink in very quickly, and left my hands feeling tacky for a while after applying. I’ve tried better hand creams, so I won’t be repurchasing this.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream: Cetaphil is a great brand for sensitive skin. I’ve used this cream on my elbows, hands, and even on my face during the driest winter months. It doesn’t break me out, doesn’t feel greasy, and absorbs quite quickly into the skin. I probably will pick this product up again in the future, most likely next winter when it gets cold and dry again.

Mac Prep + Prime Skin Base: I received this sample with a MAC order I made a few months ago. I actually quite liked this primer; it reminded me of the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer that I used to own (I used the oil-free version). It helped to prolong the wear time of my make up, and felt like it was adding moisture to my skin as well. Repurchase? Maybe next winter, it’s a bit too heavy for the summer.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation: This foundation is amazing for my oily skin; it stays on and looks fresh throughout the day. The only downside is that the shade selection is a little limited. I already own the full size, and will definitely repurchase once I run out.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloth: I had a random sample packet that I used at night one day. It did a decent job at removing makeup without irritating my skin. Since I only used it once, I don’t really have a solid opinion on this product, but if I was in a pinch and needed some wipes, I would consider picking this product up.

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien: This was from the Sephora birthday gift from 2015. This shade was right up my alley; I have way too many rose lip products. It wore pretty well, and left a nice glossy, almost metallic sheen on the lips when applied. I did enjoy using it but probably wouldn’t repurchase in this particular shade, just because I have so many others that look similar.

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Tarte Tartiest Lash Paint Mascara: When I first opened this tube and tried out the mascara, I was so impressed. My lashes looked darker and fuller (I have short stubby lashes) with it, and I was pretty excited. However, it flaked on me as most mascaras tend to do. Four hours in, I would have panda eyes. Unfortunately, this is another formula I will have to pass on.

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Marcelle Pressed Powder in Translucent: I picked this powder up several years ago; it’s way past the time for a toss. I kept this in my purse for touch ups, and it does a decent job at keeping the oil at bay for 4-5 hours before a touch up was needed. It was a pretty fine consistency as well, as far as drugstore powders go. I would pick up another one of these, except I think it may be discontinued.

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Batiste Dry Shampoo in Dark and Deep Brown: This is my holy grail dry shampoo. I go through one of these every two months or so. 100% repurchase.

Review: Shiseido Perfect Whip Foam Cleanser

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First, I want to start off by saying I have oily-combination skin that is sometimes dehydrated. That being said, the Shiseido Perfect Whip Foam Cleanser is the only cleanser that I have repurchased in a long time because I like it that much.

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The Shiseido Perfect Whip Foam Cleanser is one of the best selling cleansers in Japan, and it was one of the first products I saw every time I walked into a drugstore in Japan.

The cleanser is mild enough that it does not leave my skin feeling stripped, but does a decent job at removing any residual make up that my initial cleanse did not take care of. It doesn’t sting when used around the eyes, but it also doesn’t get rid of waterproof eye makeup, so I usually have to use a separate eye makeup remover afterwards.

It has a light fragrance, so it doesn’t bother me the way some heavily fragranced skin care products do.

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According to Shiseido’s commercial, the proper way to use this product is to squeeze a small amount onto damp hands and rub them together while incrementally adding water until it turns into a foam consistency. I personally have never been able to get the consistency that they have in the video, but it still works for me. They also make a version called Speedy Foam that actually dispenses the product as a foam so that you don’t have to spend time doing it yourself.

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The price point is great if you’re in Japan! It retails for around 300-400 yen (under $5 CDN!) for a 120 gram tube, which is cheaper than any decent cleanser I can get here at the drugstore. Outside of Japan, it’s roughly double the price on Amazon or EBay, but still, $10 for a cleanser isn’t bad compared to what you could be paying at Sephora for a nice cleanser.

All-in-all, is it worth the hype? I definitely think so. Would I repurchase? I already have. I also picked up a few extras to give to friends as a souvenir from my recent trip to Japan.