One of my favorite threads on Beautytalk is the Empties. Why? More than any other thread, I get a feel for how someone really feels about a product. Was it so amazing that they rushed out to buy replacements or so awful that they could not bring themselves to finish it? While no product has a one size fits all place in life, I am reluctant to buy a new product I’ve never sampled when multiple people on the Empties thread give the product a thumbs down. In the spirit of honest reviews on everything I try, I will review everything once a month as I’ve finished them. You will see months where the same products make appearances. If they’re amazing, I will continue buying them.
Each month, I will give you a mini review on each item. I’ll tell you the items I love and will repurchase. If I like or am indifferent to an item, I will not rush out to repurchase, but I would be willing to use or try it again. Lastly, I will present the items that are not for me. Generally, I will not use these any more in the future. If they’re really awful to me, I always hope I can find someone else who may actually like them. Thus, I will try to find someone to give duplicates to. For the items that I really love, I will do a separate product spotlight on them at some point to discuss them in more detail. My first product spotlight will immediately follow these mini reviews, because there are four amazing items in the attached picture I have not discussed yet.
Skintimate Shave Cream for Dry Skin- It has a nice smell, lathers well and gets the job done. My favorite part is it has a great price.
Pacifica Island Vanilla Body Butter- I have yet to find a Pacifica lotion I did not love. They’re creamy, smell wonderful and are moderately priced. I stocked up at Ulta during the last Buy One, get one 50% off sale and will alert you to any future sales I find.
Softsoap Coconut & Warm Ginger- I love the smell, the price and that it does not leave a huge mess when my boys drop it all over the sink. It lathers nicely as well.
H2o+ Targeted Care Hand and Cuticle Scrub- This stuff makes my hands so soft. I have extremely dry, rough hands. Anything that can soften them even the slightest bit is very welcomed.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Medi Spa Peel- This was received gratis from Sephora for the purpose of reviewing it. I adore it. It made my skin glow on average of 4-5 days with each peel. I wrote an entire review on this. If you have not read it yet, you can read it here.
Carol’s Daughter Ecstasy Body Butter- I love everything about this stuff. The smell is incredible. It is so rich ad creamy that I prefer absolutely nothing when my skin is very dry. Due to cost, I tend to reserve it for very dry skin days, but there are ways to help with the cost. I will discuss that here.
Wen Lavender Cleansing Conditioner- A lot of people dismiss Wen, because there is a learning curve. I love it though. It makes my hair look less frizzy, more shiny and so much more manageable. If you want to read about how to get a good deal or how I use it, click here.
H2o+ Targeted Hand and Nail Cream- I use this almost every day. It is creamy, has a smell I enjoy that is not overpowering and I like the $5 price tag. I used to buy them at Beauty.com for $6.50 before I found them for $5 at Ulta. Of course, I have also purchased from H2o+ directly when I have a large enough purchase to get over the shipping minimum.
Kate Sommerville Exfolikate- This stuff is amazing. MOST exfoliants give me a rash, and I have not identified a specific item I am allergic to. Exfolikate is so gentle that you can barely feel the scrubbing. Your skin feels so soft and clean after using it. Very little is needed. Even though the scrub is a little more expensive than I’d like, it lasts a long time making it a great value. Plus, there are always ways to get a better deal than the retail price. Read more about that here.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy- While this is not my favorite lip balm (By Terry Baume de Rose has that distinction), this is an amazing one. I will continue to repurchase this for years to come. My lips are so dry that I will always purchase a variety of balms. This one does not have a bad taste (there are so many that do) and that is the first thing I eliminate. The consistency is nice. It feels in between Carmex and Chapstick, so it is the best of both worlds. I like that it is moderately priced. I use a toothpick to dig everything out of the container, because the design leaves a lot of product behind.
Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste- My teeth are very sensitive to cold. I can use my husband’s Marvis toothpaste for short periods of time, but I eventually go back to this. It almost seems to take away some of the sensitivity. Plus, anything that helps the enamel on my teeth is a good thing.
Julep Nail Mask- My cuticles are rough and these nail masks do provide temporary assistance. The assistance is very temporary though, so I will only buy these on sale or in a kit.
Julep Feet Mask- My feet are rough and these masks do provide temporary assistance. The assistance is very temporary though, so I will only buy these on sale or in a kit.
Julep Hand Mask– My hands are rough and these masks do provide temporary assistance. The assistance is very temporary though, so I will only buy these on sale or in a kit.
June Jacobs Peppermint Hand and Foot Therapy- The bottom of my feet are so rough that my heels peel and even crack at times. This cream seems to keep them smooth more than any other cream I’ve ever tried. Cost is a problem on this, but you can read more about it here.
Oral B Glide Dental Floss- This is something I use everyday but tend to throw away and forget to include it with beauty products. It is one of my favorite beauty products though. I like that it never gets stuck in my teeth the way some others do. The taste is almost non existent.
Willing to Try Again
Miracle Hand Repair Cream- I found this at Burlington for $5.99. For the price, I really like it. The smell is not bad for an aloe based cream. It is not greasy at all. The only reason I do not love it is I find myself using more of this to combat my overly dry skin than I do of other hand creams I own. At this price though, it is worth using extra product.
H2o+ Grapefruit Bergamot Shampoo- It does not lather as well as I would like, but it smells great. Due to the small lather, it makes my hair a little less frizzy than some other shampoos.
Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara- I had a love/hate relationship with this. One the one hand, it made my lashes look long and incredible. The problem is it was clumpy, and I had to apply it very slow and carefully to limit clumps. I’d try it again to see if I got a faulty bottle, but I would never use it again if the next one was clumpy as well.
Lancome Nutrix- I loved this when I first bought it. Even though the smell reminds me of something my Grandma would have worn, it was not off putting. The cream was so thick and creamy. For someone who has dry skin, we dream of formulas like this. It did leave my skin a little sticky and shiny, so I only used it at night. As much as my dry skin loved it, I think it may be a little too thick for my face. Whenever I used it every night, I noticed more breakouts than when I took breaks. I tried using it in other places, because I do not return things. On my feet, I could only handle it with socks on. Otherwise, my feet would stick to my hardwood. I am not fond of wearing socks, so that was out. On my hands, I could not get over the sticky feeling. I have OCD and feel so uncomfortable with “dirty” hands. Thus, I decided to use it only on my face but not every night. The breakouts reduced and my skin soaked it up quickly. I am unsure whether I would buy it again, because toward the end I felt a love/hate relationship with it.
Lancome Bright Expert- This worked decently well when I first started using it. My skin starting looking brighter and dark spots were lightening. It got to a point where I stopped seeing improvements, so I switched over to Lancome Dreamtone, which I love. Even though I purchased this with a Lancome GWP (of course), I was unwilling to waste the $70 I spent on it. I decided to finish it after my last Dreamtone was gone. It was open past the recommended amount of time, so the effectiveness was probably reduced. Because it did work when I first started using it, I would try it again.
H2o+ Sea Marine Shampoo- It lathers nicely and smells great. I am not certain it does a whole lot for my frizzy hair, but it does not seem to make it worse either.
H2o+ Grapefruit Bergamot Shower Gel- It smells nice and lathers decently well. I like it, but it is not anything I feel I must have.
Tata Harper Skin Resurfacing Mask- My skin did seem slightly brighter after using it, but I did not see enough of a difference to encourage a purchase. I’d be open to sampling it again.
Sumbody Tuscan Orange Soap- My husband stole this from me, because he likes bar soaps. It smells great. I did use it once and liked it enough to try it again.
H2o+ Bar Soap- This is okay soap. It is pretty basic as far as soaps go.
Not for Me
Shine Shampoo- I absolutely hate this stuff, but I keep using it. Why? We stay at the Sheraton often. It is their shampoo of choice. I promised my husband I would use my stash before buying any more Wen. Although I finally stopped taking the extras as I leave a stay, I did for a while giving me quite a stash. Because they’re terrible, I do not want to give them to anybody. Yes, I know what is terrible to me will not be terrible to everyone else, but I should be done with these soon enough. They do not lather well, and I do not like that my hair does not feel clean when I am done.
Overall, this was a pretty good month. There was only one product I hated and many I loved. How did your month go? Did you find any gems or anything you could not bring yourself to finish? Please comment below and let me know.
I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.