The Not Repurchasing List


I am on yet another mission to finish things and in doing so, I have identified several things I don’t plan on buying again. In this post, I am going to focus on why they didn’t quite work for me. In every single case, there are other products in the ranges of these brands that I love. So, this isn’t about hating on any brand, because most of these have rave reviews, but we all have different preferences and skin type.

Glossier Priming Moisturizer (1,7 oz, 25) I purchased this after trying and really liking Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser. This is a light, fluffy lotion. It is hydrating and greaseless. All things I love. The problem? It eats up my makeup. It lasts half as long if I wear this underneath.

January Labs Restorative Tonic Mist (4 oz, $24) I purchased this because of Caroline Hirons. She makes me do things. This is loaded with really nice ingredients and is clean (aloe, rose calendula). Nice right? The problem: It is stingy. I think it’s the lime oil. I love citrus scents, but I am learning that it just doesn’t work in my skincare.

Andalou Naturals Lemon Creamy Cleanser (6 oz, $12.95) Somehow I forgot that I really didn’t like the Andalou Illuminating Toner. Why? Stingy. Citrus. As as cleanser it work–gets makeup right off with a wet washcloth. But I hate the way it feels, especially around the eyes.

Sunday Riley Tidal Enzyme Water Cream (1.7 oz, $65) I purchased this to use as a light moisturizer in the summer. It is ok. That’s pretty much all I can say about it. I didn’t notice anything special in terms of plumping, hydrating or brightening. There are just too many other things I reach for. I keep forgetting to use it.

Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Serum (1 oz, $230) I have had this for awhile. It is the most expensive of the bunch–I purchased it on sale and with a gift card to cover about half the cost and it was still pricey. That alone will keep me from repurchasing. However: this stuff works. Of all of the products in this post this one did its thing after just one application. I saw brighter skin immediately. It has a light, lotiony texture that I like a lot. It also has a strong scent like many TH products. The problem? If I use it on consecutive days, I break out. I couldn’t tell you exactly why. There are tons of ingredients in it.

Ode to Oatmeal: First Aid Beauty Serum and Tatcha Triple Recovery Soothing Cream

oatmeal First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum (1 oz, $36) satisfied a craving. What? You don’t believe in skincare cravings? They are a thing. I wanted something hydrating, light and–most importantly–calming. You see, I have been doing thorough cleansing (hello, washcloth) to remove sunscreen, makeup, and sweat. Between that and a little masking here and there, my skin became reddened and needed a little boost. This little FAB serum turned up when I put words hyaluronic acid, oatmeal and serum in a google search. I bought it. I love it. Why? Because it is just right. I have used Belief’s Aqua Bomb and tried their moisturizing bomb. I have used Hylamide and Hydralauron. I like the FAB serum better. All are hydrating, but this one is effective while being lighter and soothing. This is the perfect layer of hydration and calm that I have applying day (after Drunk Elephant C-Firma and before sunscreen) and night (after spraying myself silly with toner and before facial oils and treatments). Oh and after masks–it’s great then too. This serum boasts the HA and oatmeal I was looking for, plus aloe, peptides, and more. See end of post for full list of ingredients.

Speaking of oatmeal, I am on my second travel-size jar of Tatcha Soothing Triple Recovery Cream. This moisturizer contains three percent colloidal oatmeal–more than any other product of its type.  It has also has a seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association. The triple soothing comes from oatmeal, indigo extract (hence the blue hue) and Sophora Japonica extract–all three comfort the skin. I tried this in travel size after reading Beauty Idealist’s very positive review. The full size costs $135, so having the $30 travel option is a great way to test this out. I went through that pot and liked the effect, but found the cream a bit thick and hard to spread. I didn’t repurchase figuring it could wait until winter when I’d need a heavier cream. Until this recent bout of redness. I repurchased another –again in travel size. Since it’s summer and I am cooling and spritzing myself between layers of skincare, I have a little dampness going when I apply. And guess what? It spreads like a dream. I know: duh! This cream is excellent and gorgeous. I thought I would use it just when I need it but find myself using it most nights (unlike another blue soothing product I own—a balm that is so heavily scented with essential oils that I can’t bring myself to use it much). It is excellent after a mask and on top of retinol products as a comforting last layer.

FAB Serum: Aqua (Water, Eau), Glycerin, Soluble Collagen, Methyl Gluceth-20, Colloidal Oatmeal, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydroxyethyl cellulose, Allantoin, Panthenol, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium PCA, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Maltodextrin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Nitrate, Disodium Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Phosphate, EDTA, Glyoxal

TATCHA Cream: Water, Squalane (Olive origin), Glycerin, Propanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Diisostearyl Malate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Xylitol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polygonum Tinctorium (Japanese Indigo) Leaf/stem Extract, Indigofera Tinctoria Leaf Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat Kernel) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract, Prunus Lannesiana Flower Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Inositol (Rice Extract), Sericin (Silk Extract), Tetrasodium Tetracarboxymethyl Naringeninchalcone, Chondrus Crispus (Red Algae) Extract, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dextrin, Sorbitan Tristearate, Trihydroxystearin, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Beheneth­‐20, Bis-­Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-­2, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Disodium Edta, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Sodium Acrylate/ acryloyldimethyltaurate/ dimethylacrylamide Crosspolymer, Titanium Dioxide, Calcium Carbonate, Tin Oxide, Phenoxyethanol, Mica.

Two “New-to-Me” Bases: It Cosmetics and Illuminare


I recently purchased two new base products that I would like to share—one is a traditional, department store base and the other one is a mineral base. Beginning with It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream, a product that I have been curious about for some time–particularly since Vivianna Does Makeup started raving about it. I purchased the travel size from Ulta about three weeks ago and it has become my go-to weekday base. I recently ordered the full size ($38 for 1.08 oz).

It Cosmetics promotes this as a “Full Coverage Color Correcting Cream, Anti-Aging Serum plus Broad Spectrum Physical Only SPF 50+ In One!” The skincare ingredients feature hylauronic acid, peptides, niacin, Vitamins A, C, B, E, etc. for long-term brightening and color-correcting benefits. I can’t yet speak to the skincare benefits of this. The immediate benefits I see from this are: medium to high coverage, very skin-like finish, hydrating, comfortable, does not crack or settle (was born with laugh lines and this is a must), good performance over a full work day and longer, high SPF.

Because this has an SPF of 50, I have been wearing it on weekdays where works keeps me out of the sun. I don’t use this on weekends because I do layer on a separate SPF and then use other products (just to keep up on using things so they don’t go off on me). Also, because this is acting as my SPF, I put on a generous amount. I spread it around using my fingertips and then go over all of it with a damp Beauty Blender to blend and thin it out. The result is my skin but better–as advertised! I am exited to move on to the full size too because it has a pump. One thing to mention—it is scented (lemony) which might be an issue for some.

Moving on to the other (very) new-to-me find is Illuminare Moisturizing Mineral Foundation. This one is at the “first impressions” stage. I got this after watching Phyrra review it earlier this month. I have used this a few times and like it! It comes in two other varieties: mattifying and concealing. The is very dewy. I powder it down more than the It Cosmetics. It has SPF 20–I do use sunscreen with this one. Illuminare’s founder created this—the first liquid mineral makeup—while working with patients who had received laser treatments. It is really gentle (and doesn’t contain bismuth oxychloride so no itching!). I found that this offered nice coverage, and sat well on top of sunscreen and under powder. It’s pricey at $29 for .5 oz, but it is highly pigmented so you don’t need a lot. I have applied it with a Beauty Blender and the Real Techniques buffing brush, both of which offer a nice result, but I think they eat up a lot of product. Illuminare recommend applying it with an oval fuzzy puff and when I did that I used a lot less. I like this a lot and I think I will like it even more when it’s less hot and humid out because I won’t be sweating through the setting powder. (There IS such a thing as too much glow.)

Both of these products have five shades and I use the second lightest in both on my NC20 skin. The Illuminare is a tad dark for me, so I top it with a lighter powder to correct that. In the photo below, It Cosmetics in light is on the left and Illuminare in Florentine Fair in on the right.

base swatches