As we’re nearing the end of a very unsatisfying summer here in my part of the world, I thought it would be a good idea to get rid of a few beauty products from my stash that I’ve either finished, used to death or has just plain gotten old (or some combo of the above).
The first product I have used up is the Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist. Pixi only came into Canadian stores less than a year ago and this was the first product I picked up to try since I’m always in need of a good setting spray. This one smelled like roses, which I’m not overly fond of, and unfortunately the spray was terrible – in fact it stopped working altogether and I had to decant the liquid into a different bottle. Either way, it only did a so-so job of making my makeup last longer, so I won’t be repurchasing, although I am curious about other products in the line since I do like their Glow Tonic.
One product I’ve simply had for too long is the Lorac Behind The Scenes Eye Primer, which actually came with an eyeshadow palette that I bought years ago. It’s good, and I used it for a while, but since I don’t actually wear powder eyeshadow all that often, it’s simply gotten old and very difficult to push out of the tube, so it’s about time I say goodbye.
Another product I’ve had for an appalling amount of time is the Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in shade 3. This is the first bronzer I ever bought in my life and I used it every single day Monday-Friday for the past.. 5 years. Yes. I said it – you probably think I’m absolutely disgusting and/or demented, but these things seem to last forever. I finally reached the point where the ring around the outside shattered and it was no longer possible to get product onto my brush properly, so I’m finally getting rid of it. Would I repurchase? At some point in the future, maybe. It’s a great texture and colour, and I love that there are so many different shades. This was a bronzer I could just go to town on since it isn’t overly pigmented, nor is it too dark for me. Just the fact that I used it for so many years, however, has me wanting to try other things.
The last item I’m parting with is the Sunday Riley Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil. I bought this last year and they soon discontinued the product, so I won’t be able to buy it anymore. It was nice while it lasted but now it’s been open for a while so what is left of the product inside has gotten very gloopy, separated and crusty around the edges. I would like to try the UFO Clarifying Oil next, which I believe was released to replace this product.
What have you gotten rid of recently and what are you going to try next?
Facial oils.. they’ve been all the rage in the past few years, and have become a staple in everyone’s skincare routine. They’re easy to get into if you have dry skin, but how about us oily-skinned gals, who have been running in fear every time we see a bottle that lists oil as one of the ingredients?
The one oil I’ve been using for years is tea tree oil, which I buy from The Body Shop, although you can get it anywhere, really. This is the best acne treatment if I have a blemish and want to treat it but also wear makeup. Other spot treatments don’t sit well under makeup, so just taking a cotton swab of this stuff works great. Another blemish-busting oil I’ve been using for almost a year now is the Sunday Riley Artemis Hydoactive Cellular Face Oil, which I mix in with my nighttime moisturizer. It smells awful, like most Sunday Riley products, but I’ve found it does help overall with facial clarity. Sadly, they’ve discontinued this product, but when it runs out I do plan on trying the Ultra Clarifying Oil from the same line – I’ve been told by people I know that it works a treat.
Even us oily-skinned folk do get dry sometimes though. In the winter I tend to collect dry patches around my cheeks and nose, which happened loads this year. When that happens I usually pull out my Argania Argan Oil, which I picked up at my local Winners. The brand doesn’t really matter, any high-quality argan oil will do. This stuff moisturizes like nothing else – although I have to be careful of not over-using it, otherwise my skin can freak out. Another great and cult favourite oil is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, which I’ve also been using for a few years now. This is a really light oil that absorbs quickly into the skin and I tend to use this when I need to calm my skin down, whether it’s due to breakouts, dryness or if I’ve just used an intense acid mask. I find it’s a good all-around treatment whatever my issue is.
What are your favourite facial oils and what would you recommend?
This is my last post detailing the products I’ve used in 2016 and I’m sure you’re all sick of it, but since 2016 was a year of major commitment to using up products and buying less, I thought it was important to see what I had actually managed to accomplish in this area.
The first picture has all the stuff I used up – mostly skincare and minis. I really powered through a few things, and have already repurchased some. Other things, including the Algenist GENIUS White Brightening Moisture Softener, I am really missing. It was a pricey little number, but it really did reduce my dark spots and worked great at moisturizing. I will also totally repurchase the Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment, the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water, and The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Microdermabrasion, which are all amazing and not overly expensive.
Some ‘meh’ products that I won’t be looking for again include the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – what exactly does this stuff do again? I also saw absolutely no results from the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Instant Nail Hardener. Quite disappointing, but that’s how it goes with products sometimes.
I am also getting rid of quite a few makeup products – as you know, they have a shelf life and things can get a bit funky after a while. I’d say I probably keep products longer than the average person so really, it’s important that I get rid of things regularly… I’m working on it. Two major product dumps are sadly, high-end foundations: the Benefit The Big Easy Liquid to Powder SPF 35 Foundation, which was good but far too dark for me (they have a terrible shade selection). The bottle is also 2.5 years old and almost empty – it was time for that to go. The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation is another over 2 year old foundation that I’ve barely used, so there really was no point in holding onto it. Another sort of sad thing that may be controversial, is that I’m getting rid of all my Bite Beauty lip products because even though they are lovely in colour and texture, I just can’t take the scent/taste. I can’t really explain it but something about these just doesn’t sit well with me, so bye-bye Bite. Other products that have basically dried out are my two Maybelline Color Tattoos and various liquid lip products.
All in all I’m quite happy with the items I’ve used up and decided to throw away – it was time and I also hope to continue on this trend this year. What products have you used up in the past year and is this something you’ve committed to doing?
True to my resolutions for 2016, I’ve been using up a ton of my skincare and not buying random extras for no reason. Recently, I’ve been able to finish quite a few face masks as well as samples I’ve had for ages and ages (probably far too long), so much so that I actually was able to purchase new ones to add to my stash.
I’m a religious face mask-user – almost every night I try to do at least one, rotating between brightening, acne-fighting and soothing/moisturizing ones so that my skin doesn’t get too worn out. My aim is to have approximately one of each kind of mask so that I don’t get stuck with having to use too many at a time. I already have my holy grail Fresh mask that I’ve raved about, which is the best clay mask I’ve ever tried. But I wanted something that was geared more specifically to combating those pesky breakouts, so I headed over to the Body Shop and picked up their Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask. The texture of the mask is difficult to describe. It doesn’t dry as hard as most clay masks, since it’s both creamy and slightly sticky. I wouldn’t say this is my favourite mask yet but I will definitely keep using it and keep you updated on the results.
The other battle I have to fight is constant hyperpigmentation and acne scars on my face – masks with resurfacing acids come in very handy for this and I spent a lot of time looking for one that would work but not cost me an arm and a leg. I eventually stumbled on Herbivore’s Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask, which claims to clarify and smooth skin. It’s just as blue as one would imagine, and has quite a runny texture, so one doesn’t need a great deal of product to cover the face. There’s a definite tingle when it goes onto the skin, and when the mask is washed away, it leaves my face feeling unbelievably soft. I’m really enjoying using this mask and think it has made a noticeable difference so far.
What are your favourite face masks and have you tried either of these?
As it’s now September and the weather has seemingly cooled very quickly, so I thought I had better share the delicious scent that will keep me thinking about summer long after it’s over. The Body Shop’s limited edition Pinita Colada range has been reviewed thoroughly on the internet since it was released in other countries in around May. However, for some reason, the line was not released until July in Canada. I managed to get my paws on a set they had – $20 for the shower gel and body sorbet, the latter of which is a formula I’ve never tried before. I’ve been using them for the past few weeks and absolutely loving the scent – it smells exactly like the name suggests and reminds me of trips to Cuba.
The shower gel is the standard Body Shop formula, although a bit thicker in consistency than some of the other scents. And the body sorbet is the most extraordinary texture – gel-like and almost gritty, but when rubbed into the skin melts into nothing. I can see why this is used as a summertime moisturizer as it’s decidedly less heavy than a traditional lotion. I did also pick up two of the body butters, which is a formula I prefer, and seems to be running out – I actually had to go to three different locations before I managed to find them in stock, so if you haven’t tried these products I’d suggest you run to your nearest Body Shop ASAP!
Have you tried this range and what was your favourite product?
I’m like a broken record this year. Spend less! Don’t buy impulsively! It’s almost necessary that I keep that up to myself, however, in order to ensure I’m not wasting too much money. One of the ways I’ve been trying to cut down on the dollars is by replacing high-end products with cheaper alternatives.
Recently, I managed to run out of both my morning and evening face washes, which were this Philosophy and this Clarins scrubs. When it comes to cleansers, I’m definitely pretty particular, but I figure that if I’m going to spend my money somewhere on my skincare, it’ll have to be on something that stays on my face instead of being washed off after 60 seconds, so I’m still willing to drop some cash at Sephora for serums and moisturizers and things. However, it made a ton of sense to me to start going for less expensive cleansers right away. I spent a lot of time roaming the aisles of Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall, reading the backs of bottles, because as much as I love scrubs, there’s now the microbead controversy to worry about. I’d like to avoid contributing to that problem as much as possible.
Anyway, I picked up the Yes to Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub as I’d heard good things about it. I really like it – it’s a great refreshing smell in the morning, and the scrubby bits are slightly larger and sparser than most scrubs, which is okay for the morning as I don’t want to get too rough with my skin right when I wake up. I’d definitely repurchase and/or try other scrubs from the Yes to line. I’ve always been interested in the Body Shop’s skincare lines and have used bits on and off over the years so when I needed a new cleanser I popped in there and picked up the Vitamin C Microdermabrasion exfoliator, which is more of a thick paste and contains tons of crushed crystal pieces for exfoliating. It’s definitely more intense of a scrub and is recommended to be used only once or twice a week. I might eventually get something gentler that I can use daily and then use this one the way it’s meant to be used, but for now I’ve been using it after I remove my makeup and it leaves my skin feeling great.
A note about daily scrubbing – I’ve mentioned this before on the blog but I often get told that I should stop doing that and switch to gentler methods of cleansing. I have very hardy skin and a ton of clogged pores / dead skin cells lingering so it’s necessary for me to exfoliate everyday. I’ve never had an issue with that and have tried the ‘gentler’ method. Result is more clogged pores and breakouts – ew.
What are your favourite drugstore exfoliators and what would you recommend?
Following last year’s precedent, it’s only right to do a post on my most-loved and used skincare favourites from 2015. It’s been an interesting year for skincare – some old, some new, but also a lot of the same stuff I’ve been using for a while. That’s the thing about skincare. It’s much more finnicky, although I’m hoping that now I’m coming closer to a finalized skincare routine, at least in terms of ingredients, if not specific products.
One of my favourite cleansers of the year has to be the Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash, which I have used on and off since around 2009. This is either my third or fourth bottle of the stuff, which is creamy and gentle and exfoliates the skin with the teeniest beads ever. I use this every morning. After work in the shower, I’ve decided to give my Clarisonic a bit of break and just go back to using a simple cleanser. The one I’m loving right now is the Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cleanser, which is gentler, more moisturizing and has slightly bigger beads than the Philosophy. I’ve had samples of this cleanser in the past and I am definitely glad to finally have the full-sized product in my arsenal. To remove makeup, nothing can beat the Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil – it’s fast, efficient and affordable, and removes every scrap of waterproof eye makeup imaginable.
Other faves have been the Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream SPF 20, amazing for all year round, and my most-used night time moisturizer, the LaNeige Water Sleeping Mask. I’m on my third tub of the stuff, but only really started using it daily in 2015.
To set all my makeup on the daily, I’ve found a cheaper alternative to the Urban Decay Setting Sprays – L’Oreal’s Infallible Pro Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray, which is under $15 and lasts ages. I can’t live without the stuff and am down to the last couple of sprays in my second bottle.
For the body, my lifesaver is the Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, which is thick but sinks into the skin instantly, and does not leave a greasy finish. I apply it every night to hands, feet and elbows when needed. Also, as a little indulgence, the Laura Mercier Creme de Pistache Souffle Body Creme is incredible, used as a lotion or as a perfume. The texture is amazing and the scent lingers all day. Worth the splurge, in my opinion.
What have your skincare/body care faves been in 2015 and what are you looking forward to trying most this coming year?