Empties: Fall Edition


Note: I started this post earlier in the week. I wasn’t going to finish it or post it today as  my thoughts are so focused on the tragedy that has taken place in Paris. This stuff just couldn’t be less important. But sometimes a distraction helps. If you’re looking for some fluff to take your mind off things, please read on.

Well folks, I have been saving my garbage (recyclables, really) for you again. Here’s a look at the latest empties and whether they get a thumbs up, thumbs up plus repurchased, or a thumbs down. If you’re using any of these OR have recommendations for products that do the same thing, but better, please comment below! Here we go!

Jason Foaming Shower Oil Here’s the thing, this oil isn’t oily. It’s a shower gel. If you have dry skin and don’t care about “clean” products, I recommend you try Eucerin’s Calming Dry Skin Body Wash. This is an oil that emulsifies to a low foaming lather. It’s really hydrating and gentle. I was looking for a green alternative when I bought the Jason, but it was a miss. As I said, not an oil, and thus not particularly hydrating. I also think the packaging would be improved with a pump. Too much comes out so it gets used up very quickly. Thumbs down.

Yarok Feed Your Moisture Shampoo I love Yarok Shampoos. They are organic and the scents are ah-mazing! I started with the Feed Your Volume  (like this one a lot too)  but switched to Feed Your Moisture. It suited my hair better, especially now that it’s getting cooler and I am blow drying more. Thumbs up. Though I haven’t repurchased because I am going to try Andalou Naturals shampoo. I have been so impressed with their skincare, that I figured I should give other products in their range a try. More on that soon.

First Aid Beauty Racial Radiance Pads If you’re a regular visitor here, then you know I love these. Read my review here. Thumbs up plus repurchased. I picked up two more jars during the Sephora VIB sale.

Ilia Beauty Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady. This one isn’t totally done, but close enough that I need to reorder. I keep this in my purse and use it as I would a lip balm. The color is sheer enough that I can apply without a mirror. The formula is hydrating and comfortable. Read my post on it here. Thumbs up plus repurchase, for sure!

Pratima Neem Rose Facial Sunscreen Another frequent flyer on the list. Read my thoughts on it here. Thumbs up plus repurchased (already had a backup of this one).

Sunday Riley Luna Oil I recently got around to reviewing this retintol-in-oil oil. See here. It’s a thumbs up plus repurchased.

People’s Pharmacy MOM Deodorant I still love this stuff. Reviewed here. Thumbs up plus repurchased (in fact, I have one and a backup).

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum I bought this as a possible replacement for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. It isn’t  dupe (Drunk Elephant’s C Serum is a dupe though). I do really like it though. It has a light, gel texture that I love and it brightens and tightens–I think it’s especially good when skin is breaking out. Thumbs up plus repurchased.

Acure Facial Cleansing Creme This is a good first or second cleanse. It’s not a cream, rather a foaming cleanser that I don’t use it every day because it’s a bit strong. I think it has some key things in common with Sunday Riley, which I wrote about here. I am torn on how to rate this, since I bought it thinking it was a cream cleanser. Check out my post if you are looking for something foaming and deeply cleansing.



Retinol Rundown


I recently finished my bottle of Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil and realized that I never reviewed it. I have been waiting for the Sephora VIB sale to repurchase it (20% off of the $105 price is worth waiting for). My new bottle should be arriving any day now. I am a big believer in retinols for smoothing wrinkles and spurring collagen renewal. It’s a proven ingredient that will always have a place in my night-time skincare routine. I know that I am a little late to the party reviewing this product, but I do have several months of using it under my belt. Like many others, I think this is a very good oil. My only issue with it is the addition of dyes that give it a rich peacock blue hue. They seem unnecessary, but since they haven’t caused any irritation or issues for me, I decided to repurchase. Luna is comprised of deeply hydrating oils: avocado, grape seed, blackberry seed, and chia seed; calming oils such as chamomile and blue tansy; fragrance oils (neroli and vetiver among them); and the star ingredient: trans-retinol ester. Both the scent and color disappear pretty quickly. I like to use retinols just about every other night, unless my skin is very dry or windburned. (Hi winter! Take your sweet time showing up!)

This oil provides the benefits of a retinol without the redness and flaking that can accompany OTC and prescription products. Wrinkles are smoothed, pores look a bit smaller, and skin is supple and firmer. Many reviews state that this oil absorbs quickly. I am not sure that I agree. I think it needs a bit of time to sink in. I like apply it over a few spritzes of my fave toner (Yuli Panacea is my go to for this). This helps spread just a few drops over my face and neck. Once it’s on, it feels pretty rich–enough so that I can skip putting moisturizer on top unless the weather calls for an extra layer.

Full list of ingredients: Persea Gratissima (Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed Avocado) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Organic, Cold Pressed Concord Grape) Seed Oil, Rubus Fruticosus (Cold Pressed Blackberry) Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica (Cold Pressed Chia) Oil, Dimethyl Isosorbide (and) Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Chamomila Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Tanacetum annuum (Blue Tansy) oil, Anthemis nobilis (English Chamomile) oil, Eriocephalus punctualatus (Cape Chamomile) oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Blood Orange) oil, Cananga Odorata Flower (Ylang Ylang) Oil, Vetivera zizanoides (Vetiver) oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (and) Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, CI 61565 (Green 6), CI 60725 (Violet 2).

When I ran out of the Luna, I decided to try something else in the meantime: Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum. This little beaut is a fraction of the cost of the Luna. At $33, it is a no brainer for those who want a green reintol option. I have a little retinol “wardrobe” going. It’s good to have choices because these are very different. The MH Vitamin A Serum has a light-weight gel consistency–even though it has coconut and safflower oil. This one features retinyl retinoate, which like the trans-retinol ester in Luna, is supposed to do the trick without drying out the skin. It also contains some of my favorite soothing ingredients: hyaluronic acid, aloe, and oat beta glucan. I find it is a bit stronger than the Luna and definitely requires use of moisturizer on top. I was nervous about the coconut oil in it, but haven’t had any breakouts. It really is so light, you can’t feel the oils in it! I really like this as another option to switch into my routine when I want a bit more of an “active” overnight treatment. Plus having a less expensive, but very good product like this stretches the lifespan of the Luna.

Full list of ingredients: Deionized Water, Carthamus Tinctorious (Safflower) Seed Oil, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexyl Glyc- erin, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Retinyl Retinoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Xanthan Gum, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Ananassa (Pineberry) Extract, Oat Beta Glucan, Phytoceramide, Steam Distilled Aurantifolia (Lime) Essential Oil, Alpha Lipoic acid, N Acetyl D Glucosamine




Buff ’em: The Micro-Nail by Emjoi


I recently had the opportunity to try out The Micro-Nail* by Emjoi. Background: I used to be a person who gave herself a mani every Sunday. It was a favorite ritual. Then I had a kid. I was constantly washing a bootie (the cutest butt in Brooklyn, I might add),  bottles, binkys, my hands.  I stopped bothering with polish because it didn’t stand a chance of staying on! The owner of the aforementioned bootie is out of diapers, but I haven’t gone back to the manis. Even though I miss having my nails looking “done.”

This cool little gadget is a great way make nails look neat without polish or fuss. It smooths and shines finger (and toe) nails in seconds. It comes with a smoothing roller and a shining roller that are easy to switch out. The rollers spin 30 times per second.  I don’t have many ridges on my nails, so I used a light touch with the smoothing roller so as not to weaken my nails. I spent a little more on the shining roller and I was amazed at the results! It looked like I had clear polish on. Seriously–my nails had a glass-like finish that is still there days later. I have never had that with a plain-old buffing block. The best part–it takes just a couple of minutes to complete both hands. I think I did it all within one commercial break while watching tv. It’s light-weight and battery-operated and just nifty. If you have ridges and/or like the natural, neat look of buffed nails, check this out.

* pr sample