All around me are familiar faces, Worn out places, worn out faces…

I loved writing my first empties post so much that I decided to do another one.  I use a lot of products and I buy a lot too.  Last year I decided to use up a significant portion of my beauty stash.  I’m also hoping to only rebuy products that worked well for me.  I don’t want to spend a lot of money in the hopes that something might work, I’m way past that.  So over the past few months (so many months, this was supposed to be a quarterly feature) here are some of the products I’ve used up.  Some I love and others not so much.  Here are my thoughts, I hope you enjoy round two of empties.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple – My favourite gentle face wash.  It has a natural scent that is not over powering, over drying, or in anyway harsh.  I love this stuff and I like to keep a back up.

Philosophy Microdelivery – My favourite exfoliating face scrub.  It’s gentle exfoliation, lightly scented, and really works.  I also like to keep a back up of this around just in case.

Philosophy Miracle Worker  – I got a deluxe sample of this moisturizer and I generally liked it, I prefer HIAJ, over this.  I’m glad I tried it, and I love the brand, but this moisturizer was not for me.

Philosophy Hope in a Jar Eye – I got this a a point perk and I figured I would try it out.  I was using this with okay results, it’s your basic run of the mill eye cream, then I lost the top to the container, and it started to dry up, and it became balmy, I still used it all up.  I probably wouldn’t repurchase even though I am a big Philosophy fan to begin with.

Fresh Seaberry Restorative lotion – This lotion is of medium thickness, absorbs quickly and smells a little lemony.  I used this lotion for a while and even at the beginning of my pregnancy.  It is a bit expensive, but it is very worth it and lasted me a fairly long time.  I wish the price was better, because I really like this stuff.

Burt’s Bees Body Lotion – I got this lotion after I ran out of my Fresh body lotion.  I liked this because it was less expensive and there was no scent.  It is thick and absorbs well.  I decided not to repurchase once it was empty, and I got Cocoa Butter instead.

Mac Zoom Lash mascara – I got this as a sample expecting nothing.  I like how this mascara coats my lashes, separates, and defines them well.  But it melts and smears all over my eye area and that I am just not into.  I’m glad I didn’t spend any money on this mascara, because I am so moving on.

Nars Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base – This stuff is of miracles!  I love it so much, when I use it my eye shadow does not budge.  I’ve already repurchased and when I wear eye make up I don’t want to be with out it.

Benefit Benetint – I love this stuff, I have been using it for years.  It is a great multipurpose product, easily blendable as a blush, and buildable as a lippie.  It also smells divine.  I prefer the smaller deluxe sample size because the applicator brush is smaller and I feel I have more control when applying.

Fresh Seaberry Oil – This was my fifth bottle.  I can’t go on with out this HG oil.  I use it day and night, for my face moisturizer, on my elbows and knees too.  It is mid weight, absorbs quickly, and smells really nice.  I have been using it for almost two years now and I am so glad that I took the leap into face oils, because I am never going back.

Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal mask – I bought this in the hopes that it would replace my GlamGlow superMUD, but it in fact was not up to my standards.  It did not clear my pores as well, or keep my skin as tight.  I’m back to superMUD, even though its really expensive. (Not pictured because by “using it”, I really mean, I gave it to my Sister)

L’Occitane Immortelle Eye Balm – I was on the hunt for a new eye cream after my Fresh eye gels that I tried throughout last year.  I am so glad that I tried this one.  I really love it, it smells nice, has a great consistency, absorbs quickly, and lasts a long time.  I feel it’s reasonably priced, my crow’s feet are slowing, my dark circles are becoming a rarity, and my eye puffiness is less frequent.  I have a few deluxe samples to work my way through but I am really sold on this one.

Benefit Rollerlash – I got this as a deluxe sample, in the hopes of finding a less expensive alternative to Diorshow.  I’ve read a lot of reviews online about this mascara, and decided why not.  The consistency I feel is similar to Benefit They’re Real, but with that being said, this mascara doesn’t melt, flake, or give me raccoon eyes buy lunchtime, more like 3:30.  I feel the application is even, it coats my lashes well, and it’s reasonably priced.  I have a few more mascaras to work through, but right now, I generally like it.  I probably wouldn’t repurchase.

EOS lip balm – I finally finished (a lot of the way), the fruity one.  I wasn’t really into it.  It smelled nice, but I really love the sweet mint (which I am currently loving/using). The egg shaped container is really obnoxious, and not very portable.  Which is why I prefer the stick version.  The stick version broke about a week after I bought it.  I was super upset.  So I probably won’t buy either again after I use up all of my back up lip balm stash.

Clinique Perfectly Real Make Up – I have been using this foundation for years now, I have not found a reason to switch.  It is a lightweight, medium yet buildable coverage that last all day.  I prefer to use either my Beauty Blender or a foundation brush for my application.

Chanel No. 5 – I have been wearing the Eau De Parfum for years now.  I can not get enough of it.  It really is the best smelling perfume I have ever worn.  Yes, the price can be steep, but I don’t wear a lot of it, and the scent lasts all day.  I haven’t found another perfume that smells as great or better one me.  I have no reason to ever wear anything else.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo – I have been using this dry shampoo for a few years now, and I love it.  It’s very reasonably priced and it works really well.  I recommend this dry shampoo to everyone.

Sephora Collection Express Cleansing Wipes – These are probably the best make up removing wipes I have ever used.  They are durable, gentile, have a light clean scent, and can take off a face full of make up with ease.  They also don’t leave any residue.  I am sold, I always try to keep a back up so I don’t run out.

EOS Shave Cream – I don’t normally use shave cream, but my Mother gave this to me for Christmas, so I decided that I should try it.  I really like it, it smells nice, “lathers” well, and I find it gave me good results.  It’s not that expensive so I may repurchase in the future.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil – I got this as part of my Sephora birthday gift last year.  I started to use Rikugien first, it is a rose shade.  And I really love it.  I don’t know if I would rebuy for two reasons: I have to sharpen this pencil, which I know is part of life, but it’s not great when I’m trying to get portability out of it.  And It doesn’t last as long after it’s applied like the lipsticks from the brand do, which I can eat, drink, and go for most of my day with out having to reapply.  With this lip pencil this is not the case.

Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial – I got this mask as a deluxe sample, and thought since I’m trying to use up my beauty stash, why not use up my samples too!  I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, because I’ve never tried the brand before.  Let me just start with the scent, because it is strong.  It smells like roses which I really enjoy, but if you don’t enjoy that aroma, steer clear, because after about twenty minutes it was still strong.  The texture was like butter, so soft and creamy, and my skin just drunk it right up.  After leaving the mask on all night I awoke to radiant, supple, brighter and well hydrated skin, and that was just after one application.  I was pleasantly surprised and I think this may be an option I may pick up in the future.

Dove Antiperspirant Deodorant Original Clean – I have been using this deodorant for many years now,  and I really like it a lot.  It has a very light clean scent, it goes on smooth, and for a normal, work day, it holds up.  During the dog days of summer, or maybe some strenuous activities you may need to reapply.  Some times I mix it up with a fruity scent, but I always go back to the clean scent.  I also enjoy that I can snag a two pack, or multi-packs from places like Wal-Mart, Target, or Sam’s Club.

Drybar Texas Tea Volumizing Spray – I got this as part of the set when I got my Buttercup  blow dryer in 2014, it took me a long time to use this, mainly because this winter I chilled way out and I haven’t been styling my hair as often.  But now that it’s getting longer again I am doing more blow outs.  I probably wouldn’t repurchase this spray as it’s just okay, I feel there are better options that are less expensive, and also don’t smell like booze, much like the other Texas Tea products do.

Sephora Collection Instant Eye Makeup Remover – I got this last Autumn, after using up the Lancome eye makeup remover I got from a GWP.  I like it, I feel it’s a basic eye makeup remover.  I think I will try the waterproof version, just because sometimes some of my more stubborn makeup won’t come of when I use this stuff.

I hope everyone enjoyed this round of empties.  I decided to share them on a quarterly basis instead of monthly so that I actually had some time to accumulate some.  I’m looking forward to using up a lot of my make up stash this year.  I mentioned before that I would be repurchasing what has worked for me in the past, and products that I really liked from last year, and items I have yet to try this year that I have already purchased.  And on that note, it’s time to end!

All for now,

–Kiki–

Title from: Mad World by Gary Jules

Advertisements

Put your makeup on…

2015 was a year of exploration in the beauty world for me.  I tried so many things some good, like Nars satin lip pencil in Rikugien, L’Occitane Immotelle eye balm, Philosophy Purity Made Simple.  Some bad like Lancome Visionnaire, Benefit BadGal mascara, Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve eye gel.   And the ugly like Nars All Day Luminous Powder foundation, Benefit They’re Real mascara, and Wen.  With all of the products I tried, I spent a lot of money and energy trying to find products that work well for me.  And I’ve got my routine down pretty well… Now.  My last big splurge on something new was Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil, which is amazing.  I’m sharing some of my favourite new obsessions from this year.  Some are major splurges, while others are more reasonable.  Here are my must haves that I tried this year.

1. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil – I had been wanting to try this face oil for a while and I am so glad that I did.  I love how it smells, it is a midweight oil that absorbs quickly, and I feel it is mild for my sensitive skin.  I feel like I have had good results, my fine lines are not as noticeable, my crows feet are subsiding, and I’m not getting as many blemishes (always a plus!).

2. Beauty Blender – This little pink sponge is a magical miracle.  Not only has it changed the way I apply my foundation, but it’s made the process way easier.  I strongly recommend this little wonder sponge to everyone.

3. Besame Violet Brightening Powder – This setting powder is by far my favourite.  It brightens and gives my skin a matte natural look that I am head over heels for.  And did I mention it smells divine? Because it smells amazing!

4. Philosophy Microdelvery – I started using this exfoliating scrub mid year and I love it.  It is gentile and effective.  I really enjoy using it.  I can’t see using anything else for my exfoliating purposes.

5. Nars Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base – I was not expecting much when I first tried this product, and I was blown away.  Not only did my eye shadow stay put through 11 hours, but it didn’t crease or melt off.  I was sold after using it once.  There are many similar products but This one really takes the cake.

There are so many products that I use and have used over the past few years.  I’ve decided to tone it down for 2016.  I have spent a lot of time and money on trying to find products that work for me.  I don’t need to make Rouge in April, or even re-qualify.  I am looking forward to using up what I have and only repurchasing what is necessary.  And on that note, it’s time to end!

All for now,
–Kiki–

Title from: Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen (Watch out my Jersey is showing!)    

You can get anything you want at Alice’s restaurant…

November has been a month of endings and new beginnings.  I left the CU around mid month, and I started at the Bank a day later.  With all of the changes I’ve had in my life I never thought that I would even be able to enjoy anything long enough to write a proper favourite things post, but I did manage to find a few things.

1. Chanel 87 Flamme Rose – A parting gift from a friend and coworker, who is truly the best!  This shade is neutral and elegant all rolled into one, not to mention, it’s Chanel!  Like that instantly makes it amazing!  This is a shade that I can easily make look as simple or fancy as I need too, I’m thinking about finding a less expensive dupe so I don’t feel bad about using the heck out of this polish.

2. L’Occitane Immortelle Eye Balm – I have been using this eye cream for a few weeks now, and I must say I’m loving it.  Not only is it thick, creamy, smells great, and soothing.  I have noticed that my under eye area is smoother, brighter and I think my crows feet are halting in their ever present  to tracks bring my face down.

3. Hunter wellies – Although my pair is hunter green, and are no longer available at Nordies, I can not get enough of these boots!  They are so comfortable, easy to wear and are great for the crummy weather headed my way in the Hudson Valley.  I also love the boot sock liners I bought, they are super comfy and keep my feet toasty.

4. Marc by Marc Jacobs AiW inspired collection – I am a huge AiW fan (Hello, my wedding theme was AiW!) I am loving all of the things, especially the iPhone cases, now only if I could afford an upgrade.  ||1||2||3||4||5||6||

I kept it pretty simple this month, with all of the changes that have gone on, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with forcing posts.  I’m still going through a transition period with my new job.  We also celebrated my favourite holiday, Thanksgiving.  And now we look forward to Christmas and a new year.  And on that note, it’s time to end.

All for now,
–Kiki–

Title from: Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie

And this vanity I’m breaking…

My skin care routine is ever changing, whether it’s season to season, or changing concerns, or I try something new that I end up not liking so much.  With that being said, I have found a few products that have been working very well for me.  Regardless of what I use, I try to keep my routine simple when it comes to skincare.  I also try to stick with tried and true bands, and I read a lot of reviews.  My concerns have always been acne, which I have suffered from since I was a kid, and anti-aging.  Now that I am a twenty-something it’s definitely time to start to try and combat the signs I’ve started to show.

I start my mornings off with Philosophy Purity cleanser (link below), I love how gentle this cleanser is.  It also smells really nice.  Whether I am washing my night time lotions and potions off, or my make up off after a long day this stuff does the trick.  I follow that up with Shisiedo Revitalizing Essence, it’s a calming toner and it’s been around for over 100 years, they must be doing some thing right for it to still be selling!  For the cooler months I use Fresh Seaberry Oil as my moisturizer.  I do two drops in the morning and really massage it into my skin.  I find that it helps reduce the flaking I experience in the harsh winter.

At night I mainly focus n anti-aging, I remove my make up with a cleansing cloth (I prefer Sephora brand) and eye make up remover (also Sephora) for stubborn mascara and eye liner.  Then I use Philosophy Microdelivery, this exfoliator is one of the gentlest I’ve used.  It doesn’t feel harsh and it cleans really well.  I follow up with Shisiedo Revitalizing Essence.  Then I use Luna Sleeping Oil from Sunday Riley.  I have never used a retinol before, so I have read that it’s best to take it slow.  I have been using it 2-3 times a week at most.  I don’t want to make my face too angry, and so far my skin has done alright.  My skin was a little dry in patches after the 3rd or 4th time I used it.  I think after a few more weeks I will start to see results. I allow the oil time to sink into my skin, then I follow up with three drops of Fresh Seaberry Oil.  I use more at night to really moisturize my tired skin.

I just switched my eye cream.  I was using Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Gel.  I was on the fence about it at first because it was very cooling, and like most Fresh products it smelled like cucumbers but it made my eyes tear.  But I stuck with it and after I finished it up I decided to change because I felt as though it wasn’t doing any thing for me.  I am now using L’Occitane Immortelle Eye Balm.  I read a lot of reviews on every eye cream that was reasonably priced at Sephora and I settled on this one.  So far I am liking the consistency, it’s very thick and creamy, the smell is light, and it feels great going on.  I feel as though it absorbs well and my eye area is smoother and softer in the morning.

In addition to my morning and nightly routine I alternate face masks.  I recently hoped back on the GlamGlow SuperMud band wagon.  It really is the best face mask for clearing, but it can also be drying, so I also use Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask.  I like the Fresh mask because it is hydrating, calming and cooling.

Morning:
Purity Cleanser – Philosophy
Revitalizing Essence – Shisiedo
Seaberry Oil – Fresh

Night:
Microdelivery Exfoliating Cleanser – Philosophy
Revitalizing Essence – Shisiedo
Luna Sleeping Oil – Sunday Riley
Seaberry Oil – Fresh
Immortelle Eye Balm – L’Occitane
Rosebud Salve – Rosebud Perfume Co.

My Spring/Summer routine is slightly different, I try to use a traditional moisturizer, I used Philosophy Hope In a Jar and loved it.  I also really liked Fresh Youth Preserve Cream.  I am leaning toward sticking with HIAJ, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.  And on that note, It’s time to end!

All for now,
–Kiki–

Title from: Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us by MCR