Fancy Things That I Am Not Repurchasing, Part 2


Have you ever really wanted to try something and secretly hoped you wouldn’t love it because it’s so pricey? Or you loved it on first use, made it a staple, and then they changed the formulation (sigh)? Or maybe it was very nice, but didn’t make it to must-have status?

Let’s start with MV Organics Skincare…I had really, really wanted to try the Gentle Cream Cleanser and Rose Soothing and Protective Moisturizer. There were so many raves about these particular items from the line that when I received a gift card for the Detox Market this spring, I scooped them up. These are definitely in the “damn, this is expensive! I hope don’t fall in love” category. The cleanser comes in two sizes: for $58 for 2.4 oz or $91 for 4 oz. The moisturizer comes in two options too: $35 for .5 oz and $135 for 2.4 oz). The clean, white packaging is a precursor to what is inside: white creams that are formulated with gentle, mostly organic, and lovely ingredients like jojoba, vitamin E, rose oil, and camellia oil. They have the most subtle scents. After the initial newness wore off, I found myself not using them very frequently. Both are on the dry side and feel a bit waxy. They are hard to spread around without liquid to move things along. The moisturizer feels, to me, like it seals the skin as opposed to feeling like my skin breathing. I am not sure how to describe this better, so I am hoping you get what I mean. I am holding on to it for winter because it is to heavy for me now. It might be a perfect salve for winter chapped skin/windburn. As for the cleanser, I most enjoy using it once or so a week mixed with One Love Organics Brand New Day which is an exfoliating powder. The addition of the cream cleanser makes it easier to mix and apply the powder. It also makes OLO’s gentle exfoliant all the more gentle by adding the buffer of cream. I like to work it in and leave it for a bit like a mask. Of course, I don’t need a cream cleanser this special for exfoliating. So, though these two products very gentle and hydrating, they are not on the repurchase list. And that’s ok. I like trying out new things, so it’s sort of a relief to my wallet and my wandering eye.

This one is kind of hard for me. One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil ($42, 4 oz) was probably my most repurchased item since greening my skincare. When sales came around, I would buy 2 or 3 at a time. I loved a lot of things about it–how it melted my makeup and sunscreen with ease, the scent, the packaging… The thing I loved most: it emulsified with water and allowed you to splash off the makeup/cleansing oil. I really like not having to remove cleanser and makeup with a washcloth. I’d rather use the wet cloth to warm or cool my skin and gently exfoliate during a second cleanse or cream cleanse in the a.m. It’s just a personal preference. The pretty new OLO packaging came with a slightly different formulation. The oil feels thicker, doesn’t emulsify much and definitely doesn’t come off without a cloth. I think the instructions should to change to say it’s removed it with a cloth. I love oil/double cleansing so once I finish my two OLO bottles, I plan to look for an oil that emulsifies. If unsuccessful, I’ll try to embrace the washcloth daily.

Odacite Aloe and Immortelle Refreshing Toner Mist ($45, 4 oz). I got this with the Detox Market giftcard gift card too. I love the packaging. I love the ingredients, which include aloe; floral waters of rose, immortelle and chamomile; willowbark and oat extracts; and more. I love that this toner makes skin feel comforted immediately. Aside from price, really the only thing I don’t love is the scent. I am not even sure how to describe it. Medicinal? I am having trouble getting past it, but I will finish the bottle.

Another cleanser–Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip ($45, 4.2 oz). I got this as sort of a consolation/impulse/sale purchase when Sephora was sold out of Sunday Riley Luna Oil. I am finally close to the bottom of the bottle. I am cheating a bit by including it because I wrote a full post about it where I compared it to a very affordable cleanser from Acure, I am not saying they are a dupe, but…Anyway, read all about it here.



Most Reached for Brushes


Something occurred to me this morning as I fished around the little clay pots I use to hold my brushes–I use the same 4-5 brushes most days. I really need to put them in  their own pot. The next thing that occurred to me is that my least expensive brushes see the most use (with my powder brush being the exception). I almost feel bad about collecting all those Wayne Goss brushes. Almost. I still reach for the fancy brushes when I have time to do more with makeup. So I’ll hold on to those beauties too. But for weekdays when time is of the essence? These are the go to brushes.

The Real Techniques Buffing Brush
This is part of the Real Techniques Core Collection. For about $10 you get this brush, the contour brush (more on that next), the pointed foundation brush (haven’t found a use for this one), and the detailer brush (this tiny baby is perfect for inner corner highlighting and smoothing concealer caught under the lower lashes). If you don’t have this set—wait, does anyone NOT have this set? Anyway if you don’t, you should get it for the buffing brush alone. This is perfect for the job: dense, but not too dense; soft, but not too soft; never sheds a hair; and is easy to wash. It buffs cream and liquid foundations perfectly and is also great for buffing in a little pressed or loose powder to blend together and soften bronzer, blush, and highlighter. It is a must have.

The Real Techniques Contour Brush
This brush is perfect for doing a quick, simple combination contouring/bronzing. The the tapered shape  and size are perfect for carving out cheek bones and shading along the jaw line. I use it with powder products, but being a synthetic brush this would probably be even better with cream products. When I got the set, I was so focused on the buffing brush that I didn’t give this much attention. Now I use it every day.

EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush
This brush costs $6.99 and is more than worth every penny. I love this thing. You can pat, pat, pat your way to perfectly blushed cheeks. When I went on a little fancy brush binge I bought a beautiful Japanese blush brush. Do I use it? Hardly ever. I have a whole post dedicated to this little lovely.

Sigma E25 Blending Brush
This brush is a well-known dupe for the famous MAC 217. It’s fluffy, has a rounded top, and synthetic hairs. It is made for blending the crease, but I like to use it for a quick swipe of sheer, matte color all over the lids, then I dip it into a shimmery shade for the inner corner. One and done. Another steal at $14.

Chikuhodo Passion Series PS1 Powder Brush
This brush was a Christmas present to myself last year. As my first Beautylish purchase, it was ten bucks off. It costs $64, and that is splurgey–though make no mistake, this series is entry-level for Chikuhodo brushes. It gets more expensive from here! Nothing about this brush feels low end. It is light-weight, beautifully crafted of soft goat hairs, and a complete pleasure to use. And damn, it’s pretty. It picks up and applies pressed powder perfectly. Invisibly. This is where I see the difference between synthetic and natural hairs. I don’t have an inexpensive brush to recommend. For me, it’s either this or setting powder with a flocked sponge.


Andalou Naturals Super Goji Perfecting Cream and 1000 Roses Toner


I purchased Andalou Naturals Super Goji Perfecting Cream at Whole Foods a few months ago. (I cannot go there without buying skincare, so I don’t even fight it any more.) That particular visit featured my first Andalou purchase and I have to say, it was a good one! I layer the Goji cream over serums/oils in the evening or to apply before sunscreen on days that my skin needs it. I also like to use it on my neck and decolletage because on me, that area is too sensitive for anything other than gentle moisturizers.

I think it’s good to have a non-fussy moisturizer in the mix. This cream fit the bill in 3 ways: 1) the cost–it’s $24.99, but I have seen it for $19.99 2) the ingredients are hydrating and anti-oxidant 3) the light, fluffy, non-greasy texture. It has a pleasant peachy scent. I do think it would be great if it came in a pot with one of those pump covers just to ensure it’s kept fresh and clean. Love those.  The cream also made me curious about other Andalou products, so I recently got a bottle of the Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner. I like having an another toner to rotate into my routine–it helps my beloved Yuli Panacea Elixir last longer. The Andalou Toner costs $12.95 for a generous 6 ounces–cheap thrill alert! It has aloe and hyaluronic acid to help boost moisture and the bottle sprays a fine mist–all that I am looking for when it comes to non-fussy. The only thing I don’t love is the scent. However, I will finish it and then plan to check out their other toners–I have my eye on the Illuminating Clementine + C Toner.


Cream Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) and Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oils*, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*†, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Glycopeptide, Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Extract*, Glyceryl Monolaurate, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Bisabolol, Hyaluronic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Panthenol, Allantoin, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Borago Officinalis (Borage) and Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oils*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) and Hibiscus Sabdariffa Extracts*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Agathosma Capensis (Buchu) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil* Non-GMO verified    *Organic    † Fair Trade

Toner Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Distillate*, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lauric Acid, PhytoCellTec (Alpine Rose, Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Soothing Complex: [Hyaluronic Acid, Magnolia Officinalis Bark, Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Leaf Cell and Boswellia Serrata (Boswellin) Extracts], Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract*, Hibiscus Sabdariffa and Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extracts*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) and Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Oils*, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Oil Non-GMO verified    *Organic    † Fair Trade

I don’t use either of these exclusively, so I can’t speak to the anti-aging effects. However, both of these products feature a nice combination of moisturizing, soothing, and antioxidant ingredients–lots of them (vitamin C and E, CoQ10, resveratrol to name a few). In addition to the other ingredients in the formulation, I was attracted to the idea that the cream contains peptides, as they are known to attract moisture and help the skin repair itself. I figured this would be a good thing to add to my layering of products since my serum or oil will have other things covered–like exfoliating ingredients. Andalou gives you an affordable way to do that extra layer of moisture and helpful ingredients. They even offer a serum in this line for those who don’t need as much moisture or don’t like products that come in a pot. In terms of the claims about fruit stem cells, I am not addressing those here because there seems to be a lot of conflicting opinion on them. From what I read, they are promising, but need to be studied more.  I liked FutureDerm’s take on them–they aren’t proven, but are boosting ingredients to add to proven essentials such as AHAs, retinols, and niacinamide. I am looking forward to checking out other offerings in this range. Thus far, it seems really well done and at great price points.