Empties: Spring Edition


Deep Steep Grapefruit Bergamot Hand Cream

I blogged about this as part of a Whole Foods purchase. Here is what I said about it:

Deep Steep Hand Cream in Grapefruit Bergamot ($9.95, 2 oz): This is a pretty good hand cream with a lovely, subtle scent. Nice ingredients, sinks in fast and smells good. Might be a better warm-weather option as it’s light. I like it, but not enough to go out of my way to get it again.

In life, it’s important to admit when you’re wrong. So I will. This hand cream is so worth going out of your way for. In fact, I have purchased 2 more tubes since I wrote that post. After I finishing the first tube, I went to a brand I had used before and it made me appreciate Deep Steep. I should also add that whenever I put this on anyone within smelling distance compliments me. It’s very popular with my coworkers.

Pratima Neem Rose Face Sunscreen (SPF 30)

A staple. This empty already had a backup in the wings. I love this stuff. If you are looking for sunscreen with a short, natural ingredient list and a non-greasy finish that plays well with makeup, I encourage you to try this. See here for my review.

Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation

This one is on my list of things to repurchase. It’s the closest to a glorious, luxe, silicon-y department store serum foundation as you can get and still be green. It performs. Period. I initially got it in shade 3 which was a bit too light. Shade 4 is too dark from what I’ve seen in photos of people blogging about it. I recently asked whether they would  consider adding shade 3.5 to their line and it sounded like they are considering it. I suppose I could buy the two shades and mix, but I have more than enough base products tide me over. Read my previous post about it here.

Derma-E Soothing Face Crème

This cream…uh sorry crème (so fancy) was part of the purchase that included the Deep Steep hand cream. Here is what I initially reported:

Derma-E Soothing Face Creme ($26.96, 2 oz.):  I have already made a serious dent in this one. It’s medium-weight, sinks in well, and has helped to soothe my skin. Lately, I have found it more helpful than my heavier, fancier moisturizers. It contains an antioxidant called Pycnogenol which derived from the park of a french pine tree. Read more about it here. It’s a versatile cream. I use it in the evenings and on some mornings mixed with One Love Organics Morning Glory Oil. I let it sink in and top with sunscreen and makeup. It’s in a pot, which isn’t ideal, but I think I am using it fast enough that it won’t have a chance to get contaminated or affect the efficacy of the antioxidants.

I stand by all that I said. It is a good, solid product—which has been my experience Derma E on the whole. I haven’t repurchased this one because I recently picked up Andalou Naturals Goji Peptide Perfecting Cream (again from Whole Foods). Never fear, I showed Derma E some love by getting their hydrating eye cream. There will more on both of those purchases soon.

The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer

Can you spot the brown makeup on the brown table? This one isn’t finished, but I finally hit pan which means it’s time to start looking for something new to try. Not that there is a rush. I originally blogged about this bronzer last July. It wasn’t even new then and I am just hitting pan.  But still. If you have suggestions for a clean/matte/pressed bronzer, please let me know! Here is what I’ve said about this one previously:

Bronzed Skin – Courtesy of The Balm’s Bahama Mama, a matte bronzer that is sort of famous as a contour. I do a combo of bronzing and contouring with it. (This is not expert contouring. Some people refer to it as shading. Check out this quick and simple guide to contouring and highlighting by The Beauty Department—a favorite site of mine. They’re using cream, but this powder works just as well and keeps it simple.) Bahama Mama is one of the products that I bought early in my journey of going greener—when I went paraben-free as a start. EWG rates it a “one” so while it’s not perfectly clean, I am keeping it and will decide whether to replace with something else once I finish it. I also pop a tad of matte pink blush (not pictured) on the apples of my cheeks so my complexion doesn’t look too flat.

Sample – Sunday Riley Luna Oil

What’s that unlabeled pot all about? The one with traces of bluff stuff? Well I got a sample—a pretty generous one—of the Sunday Riley Luna Oil from Sephora a few weeks ago. Caroline Hirons’ post about it made me do it. The Beauty Idealist also did a post on it this week. Don’t go by me, if these two ladies are fans, it’s worth a look. Caroline Hirons said she saw a difference after just one use—and so did I. This stuff is serious. Here is how it is described on the Sephora site:

With an advance retinol complex, Luna helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles while simultaneously correcting damage caused by the sun, time, and pollution. Use this oil before bed to notice firmer, clearer skin by morning. Trans-retinol ester fights the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of skin elasticity while an essential oil complex calms and soothes skin. Cold pressed avocado, chia, and Concord grape seed oils sink into skin for quick absorption of actives while boosting radiance.

I had enough in the sample pot to use it a few times a week over (approximately) 3 weeks. Like Caroline Hirons, my pores were smaller after just one use. With continued use, my skin seemed glowier and a bit tighter. Of course retinols work at boosting collagen and softening lines over time, so hopefully there will be more positive change with continued use. My only gripe with it is that they’ve added coloring to it. The oil contains blue tansy, but I guess it wasn’t blue enough. I think they could have left it or gone with a blue bottle. It’s also not cheap–$105 for a 1 oz. bottle. But you really can do your whole face with 3-4 drops if you spray toner on to help spread it around. I found it best to let it sink in and add some moisturizer over it. I have been impressed enough to get over the dye and buy the full size (luckily on sale). I’ll do a full post in a few weeks.


Taking it Off with One Love Organics, Derma E, and Dew Puff


One of my early posts described my evening skin routine in steps. At the time, I said that I planned to finish up some products and look for cleaner product options. Today, I am ready to revisit steps 1 and 2, or first and second cleanse. This is also a bit of a high-low/splurge-steal routine. Starting with the splurge: I have started removing my makeup with an oil-based cleanser and I love it. I’ve been using One Love Organics Vitamin B Active Moisture Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover ($36, 4 oz.).

Here is how they describe it:

The ultimate in multi-tasking luxury, Active Moisture Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover effortlessly lifts away impurities and makeup while restoring skin’s natural moisture and pH balance. The unique, creamy formula features papain, a fruit enzyme that helps to exfoliate and soften skin, and a natural Vitamin B complex to detoxify and tone. Concentrated yet gentle enough for all skin types.

This is a pricey, but beautiful product. If you don’t have heavy makeup on, you can probably get the job done with one pump. I find I need two pumps in order to get my makeup off–including mascara. It gets every bit of makeup off and using it gives you the opportunity to massage the oil into your (dry) face, which is relaxing and good for circulation. My favorite thing about it is that it turns milky once you splash water on, making it easy to remove. I really didn’t want anything like a balm that required a washcloth a day to remove. (More laundry? Um, no.) I also love the scent. It’s pineapple/papaya/tropical goodness.

Here is what is in it:

helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, caprylic/capric triglyceride, di-ppg-2myreth-10 adipate, polyglycerol-3 beeswax, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil* (and) lecithin* (and) cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil* (and) papain*, carica papaya (papaya) seed oil, tocopherol (natural non-gmo vitamin e), proprietary natural & organic fragrance                *indicates organic

Now we turn to steal:  Since I start with an oil, I like to do a second cleanse to get everything off. For this, I have been keeping the fruity theme with Derma E’s Vitalizing Cleanser ($13.75, 6 oz). I like to put a tiny squirt of this on my konjac sponge to cleanse and gently exfoliate.

Here is how they describe it:

Gently wash away dirt, oil and impurities with this invigorating cleansing gel. Infused with tropical Tamanu, Pomegranate, Green Tea, Papaya, Aloe plus Vitamins A, C and E, this antioxidant-rich formula leaves your complexion clean, revitalized and refreshed. 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten free, GMO-free.

I think refreshing is a great way to describe this gel. It is really gentle, doesn’t foam and leaves a clean, but not dry or tight feeling to the skin. I also think it is a perfect for situations where it isn’t being relied on to take makeup off, but to gently cleanse and refresh. It’s a perfect second cleanse and I also use it in the morning, where I skip the oil step.

Here’s what’s in it:

Water (Aqua), Decyl Glucoside, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Berry Extract, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Nut Oil, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Citric Acid, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (C-Ester), Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract* (.1%), Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract* (.1%), Sodium Chloride (Sea Salt), Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Pineapple Mango Fragrance. 

Stay tuned for more skincare posts. Am currently trying a new sunscreen—not the Coola one that was on my wishlist. The twitterverse told me to skip it. And I have a couple of new masks to try out. It’s all about the glow!