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

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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

Glass film, perfume, cognac, lilac…

Sunday was the VIB Rouge event “Beauty Before Brunch”at Sephora, and I was on the fence about going, but my Mom and I went and we had a really fun time!  We got up early, went to Starbucks for some coffee and made our way down to Poughkeepsie, where the closest Sephora is.  I wasn’t planning on buying a lot because I am still using up what I have from my previous orders.  Once we got there we were invited to have some refreshments.  There were assorted pastries and coffee, which is always a good thing.  Everyone got these rubber wrist bands, and not too long after we arrived the skin care demo started.  For how big of an area that we live in there were not a lot of people there, which I was very surprised about.

For the skin care demo we got to try several different cleansers, creams, serums, and toners.  I even got up and and participated!  The brand ambassador from Josie Maran sprayed a toner like product on my face, and I was instructed to tell everyone how it felt.  It smelled nice, and was refreshing but I really like my Shisiedo essence.  One of my favourites that we tried was Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip and Good Genes.  Both are a bit out of my price range to purchase the full size on a whim right now, I also got a sample of the Luna Sleeping Night Oil , which I tried for the first time tonight, I was surprised that it was actually blue (I thought the bottle was blue).  Luna smells like old grapes, it sinks in to my skin very quickly and did not look oily on my face.  So far that’s all I can really say about it.  I’ll keep using until my sample runs out and see how it goes.  I’m glad I got a sample because this stuff is really expensive.  Way more than my Fresh Seaberry Oil.

While at Sephora we met the brand ambassador for Philosophy, which is a favourite or mine.  Since switching to Purity and Microdelivery there has been a pleasant difference is my complexion, I am breaking out less, my skin isn’t nearly as oily or dry, and my sun spots are not as noticeable.  I am very familiar with the brand and the ambassador was very impressed that I was so knowledgeable.  Over the past few years skin care has been at the forefront of my beauty concerns.  And having healthy skin is important to me.  She suggested that my Mother try this set, which is geared toward more mature skin.

We also found this super awesome nail polish set for my Sister, who loves nail art.  We got a bunch of samples from Philosophy and Sunday Riley, a bag full of awesome samples that I split up between myself, Sister and Mom, and my Mom and I also got adorable tote bags for attending.  The best part is I got quadruple the points on my purchases!  Which for VIB Rouge lasts until August 9th.  And on that note, it’s time to end!

All for now,
–Kiki–

Title from: Off To the Races by LDR  

For goodness sake I think I’m on the edge of something new…

May was a big month, aside from being busy at work, my staycation, new camera and third wedding anniversary.  I accomplished a lot, from planning more/better posts, learning how to take better photos and edit them.  As I look forward to June and all it has in store, it’s time for my favourite things.

1. It’s been about a month since I cut my lob into a full blown bob, with bangs.  I love the bangs, I’m on the fence about my cut still.  The texture of my hair has changed, it’s dry, and brittle, so I embrace that by using either sea salt spray or curl enhancing gel.  Blow drying my hair straight, looks alright, but I’m still having trouble with getting the layers to lay flat, using my flat iron doesn’t really help.  It just makes my hair look like a busy frizzy mess (Hermione Granger anyone?).  I’ve even tried using different types of brushes to blow dry my hair, and I’ve had very little luck.  Back to the drawing board on that.  As my hair grows out a bit, I think that it will start to get a bit easier to style.

2. Beauty Blender – I have been using my BB make up sponge for about a month now, and I’ve got to say, they are genius.  These little pink Godsends lend themselves so well to applying just about any make up look.  I have noticed that the application of my foundation is not only much easier but looks smoother and more covered, but also really light at the same time.  I wet my BB and squeeze all of the water out prior to applying my foundation, which I dot on with the rounded bottom of the sponge, then I blend all over my face.  I typically wash my BB after two uses with the liquid BB soap I got in the set from my last Sephora order.  I find that the liquid soap cleans my BB sponge very well and it is easy to rinse off.

3. Philosophy Purity Cleanser/Microdelivery – I started using this cleanser about two weeks ago and I gotta say, I’m hooked!  I love how it smells, it is not harsh, and it’s really refreshing.  It is cheaper per ounce than my favourite Fresh Soy cleanser and I feel it works about the same.  I use this cleanser with my Clarisonic and it has been doing wonders for my skin, I am leaning towards this for a repurchase.  I also more recently started using Microdelivery from the mini set I got from my last Sephora order, and I have to say, it is also doing wonders for my skin (I used BB cream, pressed powder and a little concealer for work last week, I NEVER do that!).  I use it when I shower after my pores have had a chance to open up, and I use it according to the instructions. My skin has never looked better, red, inflamed under the skin blemishes, have calmed down almost instantly.  Black heads are few and not a deep in my pores, white heads are subsiding.  My pores look smaller and cleaner.  I have also noticed that if a new blemish rears it’s ugly head (#punintended) it is smaller and heals much quicker.  I will definitely repurchase this amazing exfoliator.

4. Shisiedo BB Cream – This is my first go at using a BB cream and I am in love! The coverage is light, hydrating and when applied correctly (with the help of concealer, and pressed powder) flawless!  I am not a flawless skin kind of gal, as you all know I am well into my twenties battling adult acne (still!).  Even though I am in love with Shisiedo right now and way loving this product I would like to find a cheaper alternative mainly due to price.  I will be on the hunt for my perfect BB cream, so stay tuned.

And on that note, it’s time to end!

All for now,
–Kiki–

Title from: (Hurricane) The Formal Weather Pattern by Something Corporate