Empties: Fall Edition

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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.

 

 

Buff ’em: The Micro-Nail by Emjoi

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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

First Impressions: skincare and Bath Mini Haul

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I thought I would share some recent acquisitions and first impressions. My skin has been misbehaving lately, and that has inspired a couple of these purchases. I really can’t blame it all on my skin breaking out. There is definitely some lust and impulsiveness in these buys–and no regrets. (At least not yet!)

Andalou Naturals Beta-Hydroxy Complex Recovery Cream ($24.95; 1.7 oz) If you haven’t checked out this brand, you should. It’s good, affordable, clean, and so underrated. I was thinking of repurchasing the goji peptide moisturizer from their age-defying range, but I decided to get this one from their clarifying range. I figured it would help with the breakouts and those pesky acne scars that can take so long to fade.

This contains: Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Vegetable Glycerin, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel)*, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Stearic Acid, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch*, Epilobium Angustifolium (Willow Herb) Extract, Salicylic Acid, Salix Alba (Willow Bark) and Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) Extracts*, Zinc Gluconate, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Allantoin, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) and Sabdariffa Extracts*^, Tocopherol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil*

It is clarifying thanks to the salicylic acid and very softening. I noticed the difference in my breakouts and congested pores after just one use. I also think it is potent enough that it can be used for exfoliating in place of (or on rotation with) a retinol or other acid. I am glad that I purchased it. Though I can see this perhaps being too strong for me every night, particularly in the dead of winter. I get windburned really easily, so sometimes I just need to layer on a thick, simple moisturizer. I may need to get another jar from Andalou’s sensitive range for that purpose.

OK, now to my fave of the bunch: Skin Owl Eye+. ($46, .8 oz) I tried to resist buying this. I have so much other stuff to finish first. That is what I told myself. I resisted the photos of this luscious gel in its cute little jar. I resisted when the Caroline Hirons chose it for her latest Cult Beauty Box. It wasn’t easy, dammit, but I held fast. Then my skin went nuts and I was feeling sorry for myself and one thing led to another and I bought it and OH MY!

Will you just look at what’s in it? Look! Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber Distillate), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Silk Protein Amino Acid Blend (Sodium L-Pyrrolidone Carboxylate, Sodium Lactate, LArginine, L-Aspartic Acid, L-Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid, Glycine, L-Alanine, L-Serine, L-Valine, L-Proline, L-threonine, L-Isoleucine, L-Histidine, L-Phenylalanine), Wildcrafted Vinca Major (Periwinkle), Organic Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

It smells like a freshly cut cucumber. It’s cooling,  smoothing, and soothing. I just love the experience of using it. I put it all around my eyes and cheeks. It firms, it depuffs, it leaves skin silky. If you are a sucker for gels and aloe-based products, try this. It’s a little splurgey, but worth it. You will not be sorry.

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask ($49, 2.5 oz) Another pimple-panic purchase. I went with this blogger fave that somehow I hadn’t manage to ever try. Until now. This mask has a nice mix of clays and oils. I used a very thin layer all over my dampened face and applied a little extra on my t-zone.  I think I used about the same amount as I would a foundation. You can really make this product last. I only left it on for about 10 minutes. I would say this is the most gentle clay-based mask I have ever tried. It left my skin feeling very clean and smooth.

Here is what’s in it: Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bentonite, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool.

Aura Cacia Shower Tablets in Reviving Peppermint ($6.99 for a pack of 3). I was so excited to see an Aura Cacia display containing oils, aromatherapy sprays and roll-ons, essential oils, and more at my local Rite-Aid that I couldn’t resist. I purchased some oils (not pictured here) for blending into a homemade body oil (will post about that project soon) and a packet of these shower tablets. You place the tablet on the shower floor and the scent is released as it dissolves. I thought it was a nice little touch for my shower–especially since I used it after a sweaty house-cleaning session. Could you get the same effect (and save money) from sprinkling essential oils on the shower floor? Yes, yes you can. At least it wasn’t a pricey impulse buy!

Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bentonite, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool. – See more at: http://www.aesop.com/usa/skin-care-1/deep-cleanse/parsley-seed-cleansing-masque.html#sthash.YO2mx8lC.dpuf
Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bentonite, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool. – See more at: http://www.aesop.com/usa/skin-care-1/deep-cleanse/parsley-seed-cleansing-masque.html#sthash.YO2mx8lC.dpuf