All Used Up: January 2018 Empties + Reviews
It’s sometimes amazing that I even make it through products. I’m always buying and trying new things along with rediscovering old loves, so I switch out my makeup and skincare quite a bit. Somehow, I found a way to accumulate a few items for an empties blog post -far fewer items than my YouTube videos used to feature, but more than just two products (which wouldn’t necessarily be surprising for me). Here’s some of the items I finished up in the month of January, with mini-reviews and whether I would repurchase them.
1. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream in Pink Grapefruit: If you’ve been a long-time follower of my YouTube channel, you’d know this is my holy grail moisturizer. A little over a year ago, I had a horrible allergic reaction to a Shea Moisture skincare product. I’ve since discovered that I’m allergic to rosewater, rosehip, and pretty much anything else with the ingredient “rose” in it. My skin was red, itchy, irritated, and dry, and this moisturizer didn’t burn it more or cause my skin to peel. It protected the skin while nourishing my face, which I can definitely appreciate. It’s more of a heavy-duty moisturizer, but I used this even when my skin was oily, just with a smaller amount. It fairs well with dry skin, but with the erratic weather we’ve been experiencing here in Georgia, I’ve had to layer it with an oil. My face still looks amazing even with this alone; no dry patches and minimal dryness! I’m waiting for my re-up to come in the mail when I’m writing this, as I gave my boyfriend my backup so we can both have silky smooth skin.
2. Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Buttercream: I’ve trying out some cruelty free lotions and body butters recently and Soap & Glory was at the top of my list considering everyone is always raving about their body care products. I got this baby size in a set of three; this is just the first one I’ve finished because I enjoyed the product the most overall out of the set. The Soap & Glory body butters have very strong scents to them, which I’m not completely a fan of, but don’t necessarily mind if I like the smell. This smells of shea butter and vanilla – very sweet. I love warm, sweet scents, so I don’t mind it, but I feel as though the smell is so overpowering sometimes that I have to either layer a perfume with a complimentary scent very lightly over it or not wear perfume at all. The smell wears off throughout the day, though, which is why I still like to wear a fragrance with it. I don’t think this body butter is as moisturizing as it could be. It has more of a whipped texture rather than a heavy, creamy texture. It’s only slightly more moisturizing than a regular lotion, such as Jergens; thus, I’ve finished this little tub in only three or so uses. This isn’t on the top of my list to repurchase, but I would like to give the product the benefit of the doubt – maybe the small sizes aren’t as good as the regular size?
3. Belif The True Cream – Aqua Bomb Moisturizer: I have a love-hate relationship with this product. The smell is a nice citrusy scent, which is great as a morning moisturizer and pick-me-up. I think if you have very oily skin, this formula would work beautifully for you. It’s a gel moisturizer, so it sinks into the skin quickly, but I do notice that it can sometimes make me look a little shiny, especially in the t-zone. It works okay for dry skin, but I would definitely have to pair this with an oil to receive the hydration I need out of this product. I used it as mainly my “daytime” moisturizer, and would just use my Ultra Repair Cream at night to allow my skin to drink in moisture as I slept. I would probably repurchase for using this product in that capacity, but I’m not quite ready to part ways with my Ultra Repair Cream.
4. Ulta Beauty Blending Sponge: This was my favorite makeup blending sponge until I discovered the Morphe sponges. This has that classic Beauty Blender shape. I used the butt-end to blend out foundation all over my face and to blend out cream contour, and used the pointed-end for undereye concealer. It’s nice and squishy, but not as squishy as the Morphe sponges. Even though these are off-white, foundation and cream contour actually don’t stain them that much. They clean out very nicely, and them not staining makes me feel a little bit better about using an older sponge. I think they’ve now changed the color to a light pink, but I really hope they didn’t change the composition. I’ll definitely be repurchasing them at some point, especially since my Ulta is always running out of the Morphe and Real Techniques (one of my other favorites) sponges.
5. Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb: I have a bone to pick with eye creams. I’ve only ever found one eye cream that I actually enjoy, and it’s not cruelty free so I can no longer purchase it. Every eye cream I try starts out well – my undereye area feels moisturized, my concealer goes on a little bit better – but after about two weeks or so, my undereye area feels even more dry than when I started using the cream. This one acted much like the rest, but actually a little worse. If I didn’t use all Belif products, the cream balled up and displaced my concealer, which isn’t a cute look at all. This product really hates the Mario Badescu facial sprays, and those are a standby I refuse to retract from my routine. Maybe another eye cream from their line will be the one, but it sure as heck isn’t this one.
6. Mario Badescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion (Sorry, I lost the personal photo for this one): Mario, baby, I love you, but who in their right mind would put rubbing alcohol in a skincare product? I understand this was formulated for oily skin and that alcohol can be a drying agent, but I feel as though this product played a part in the overall drying of my skin. That combined with a cold winter has been dismal for my skin. When I tell you all this smells like straight rubbing alcohol…I literally might as well have saved my $15 and just purchased a $1 bottle of alcohol. I don’t feel like this did virtually anything for my skin, but I continued to use it because I don’t waste and I couldn’t find my receipt to return it. I much prefer the Aloe Vera Toner, and I’ve currently been testing the Glycolic Acid Toner from them, which I already like better than this toner (both of those are also alcohol-free). Save your coins, ladies and gentlemen, and opt for their other toners.
7. Via Natural Ultra Care Moroccan Argan Oil: I found this for fifty cents at Dollar General, and I’m surprised at how much I liked it for my hair. It moisturized without weighing down, which is huge for me because my hair is so thin and wispy. I loved using this as a hot oil treatment. More recently, I was using a hair oil sent to me through Influenster, and it hydrated absolutely nothing. It also has alcohol in it, so my hair was getting even drier and more brittle in the month I was testing that product. Once I figured out what was making my hair so dry, I discontinued its use and did a hot oil treatment using this oil, mixed with another oil from the same brand. My hair instantly looked and felt healthier! It did make my hair a little on the “greasy” side, but I was just happy for my hair to no longer look like straw.
8. e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator in Mint Maniac: This is another product that you’d know is a holy grail if you came from my YouTube channel! I’ve been through four of these so far, all in different flavors. I’ve tried the original, the coconut, the grapefruit, and the mint flavors, and every single one works perfectly! I like using this before applying lipstick or gloss because it gets the crusty bits of dry skin off my lips and makes application and wear of lip colors much smoother. The lipstick-shape makes use so much easier than lip scrubs in pots. I detest dipping my fingers into any type of makeup, so this is a dealmaker for me. Quite honestly, you can’t beat this product, especially since it’s only $3.
9. Tony Moly Face Sheet Masks in Rice (Clear Skin) & Tea Tree (Skin Smoothing): Nope. I’ve tried three of Tony Moly’s sheet masks so far because they’ve always been raved about. If I’m not mistaken, these were the first really well-known sheet masks since sheet masks blew up. Honestly, they work so well. My skin always feels hydrated and plump after use, and I think these masks have the perfect amount of serum in them. They’re not so saturated that they drip off my face and onto my shirt, but they’re also moist enough to stay on my skin without efforts to keep them from falling off. My problem is that something in them causes an allergic reaction. My skin has only done this with one other brand of sheet masks, and neither brand, according to their ingredients’ lists, uses rosehip or rose oil in their products, so I’m at a loss. All I know is that I wake up with a swollen, itchy eye and bumpy cheeks. I gave the last of this brand of sheet masks to my sister, and I really hope it fairs well on her skin as well.
What products have you used up lately, and would you recommend them? I’m always looking for nice new additions to my collection.
Write you little lovelies later,
XO Ky M.