If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
The beginning of the new month to me always represents closing out the previous month. I am going to post July’s empties now and its FabuFinds later today. I will also post the next month’s tomorrow and finally be caught up. There is something so fulfilling about seeing something empty even though that sometimes mean you have to go out and buy more (assuming you do not already have backups).
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.
I also finished a sunscreen in July. Well almost, but it maybe had enough for one arm or so. Deciding I was not going to keep an essentially empty product for a long time, I pulled it out of out “beach bag” and stuck it on the counter to put away later. It has not been seen or heard from since. If it ever appears deep in a toy box or something, I will review it later. Assuming it was accidentally tossed as occasionally happens, I will review “her” sister when I use her. Without further ado, this is everything else I finished in July.
Carol’s Daughter Ecstasy Frappe Body Lotion- I am in love with this scent. The lotion moisturizes pretty well, too. Hopefully, I always have some of this in stock.
H2o+ Targeted Care Pumice Foot Scrub- This has a scrubbing and soothing effect. I ran out of hand scrub one day and decided I could use this on my hands. No, you cannot. My hands tingled, not in a good way, for hours. The skin on my feet is thick enough that they do not tingle but actually feel relieved. When my feet got cracked from this L’Occitane foot cream, I started using this everyday. This combined with adding Egyptian Magic helped a lot. No more cracks. Prior to the cracks, I only used it once or twice a week.
Schick Hydro Silk Blade- When it comes to tools, I usually forget to take pictures. This razor gives a close shave and rarely cuts me. The moisturizing serum probably helps but pairing this with Whish Shave Cream is the best.
Urban Decay Eden- This has a very slight color, so you could wear this alone for a slight change. I prefer the formula in this to the formula in the original one. It creases about the same amount, which is roughly 5%. That is better than many others, so I would definitely use this again if a sample made it my way. My love for NARS Pro Prime would probably keep me from buying just this though.
Secret Clinical Strength Stress Sweat- Nothing else keeps me as dry or smelling as fresh as the Secret Clinical line. It works all day despite how hard my workout is or how hot it is outside.
Go Smile Teeth Whitening Gel- One of the few whitening gels that actually whitens teeth with fillings. The formula does not bother my sensitive gums either. It does not have incredible results as some of the ones that burn my mouth, but the results are good enough.
Sensodyne Extra Whitening- Whenever I cannot get Pronamel, I buy this. Although I prefer Pronamel, this is a suitable replacement. I am not sure the whitening in this works, but I prefer the taste of this one to others in the line.
Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel- My acne took a turn for the worse in February, and I think this helped a little. I did not react to it, which is always a good thing. The sample lasted a little over 5 months and it is a lot smaller than the full size. I can only imagine how long the full size would last me, especially during times where acne and I stay away from one another. When you pick your acne, no product will be a miracle product. Thus, I cannot make this a FabuFind yet, but I want to purchase it when I am not picking and see if it works as good as I think it will. I just bought a Kate Somerville treatment I already know and love, so I may try this after that unless I promote Eradikate to FabuFind status.
Dial 7 Day Moisturizing Lotion- For the price, this is fantastic. It smells great, moisturizes decently well for a thinner lotions, and does not leave me greasy.
Oral B Pro Glide- A recent visit to the dentist reminds me of how much I love this gloss. Like the name indicates, it glides through teeth. It has never gotten stuck in my teeth like cheaper glosses do. Some glosses taste like you’re feasting on a candle or a bad mint candy. This one has almost no taste at all.
GlamGlow Bright Mud- Nothing makes my eyes look bright the way these do. They’re designed to use one side on each eye, but I find one side is enough for both eyes. That makes one pod good for two uses.
Marvis Strong Mint Toothpaste- For someone with sensitive teeth, I am not used to using anything other than Sensodyne or Pronamel. As long as I still mix the others in, I can use this from time to time. It cleans very well, and I like the taste.
Julep Rock Star Hand Cream- It moisturizes well, smells nice, and does not leave my hands greasy. The price is a little higher than I would pay for it, but I will seek this out in a package or with a huge discount.
St Tropez Tanning Mitt- It spread the tanning cream evenly and did not let the product leak on my hand.
H2o+ Targeted Care Hand and Nail Cream- Yes, that is a straw in big one. As much as I love the lotion, I hate the design of this bottle. The pump does not come anywhere close to reaching the bottom of the container. About a fourth of the lotion remains at the bottom. My straw technique allows me to get most of that without having to resort to a spatula and a separate container. Once the straw falls deep inside, I have a hard time getting it back out, so the lotion removal ceases there. I only buy the lotion in this size when I get a good deal, because even though the price per ounce is better than the 6oz tube, the hassle makes the tube a better purchase for me. The direct store is the only place I’ve seen that sells the pump anyway, and I mostly buy this lotion from other stores. The cream is thick and moisturizing. I really like the price, and the scent. It will always be a staple in my products.
Whish Blue Agave Shave Cream- This gives a close shave, has a nice scent (unlike other scents I’ve tried from this line), and the formula helps to moisturize and not dry out my legs.
Listerine Ultra Clean Antiseptic- It makes my mouth feel clean and burns a little less than the regular version. My breath is always fresher with any product from this line.
Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate for Deep Wrinkles- Murad has always been a line of good products, which is why I love exploring the brand. There was nothing I loved (great), but there was nothing I hated (bad). This may finally break that reputation. The sample is too small to make this a FabuFind, but I would love to get my hands on a bigger sample to see if it is really as great as I think. Some of my wrinkles are deep and when I used this, I really felt they looked smaller. If this has any long-term effects, I cannot wait to discover them.
Soap and Glory Naked Righteous Body Butter- This is a moderately thick cream that does moisturize. I love the scent. My husband really dislikes the scent on this more than he dislikes the H2o+ hand cream I love so much. Since there are better moisturizers on the market, I will limit how often I buy this lovely scent.
Real Chemistry 3 Minute Peel- I adore this. It peels my skin quickly and efficiently. You can see and feel the skin coming off, so it is not at all like a peel where you’re unsure. After using this, I do not see dry patches at least for a few days.
Lancome CILS Booster- This mascara base improves any mascara available. It helps my lashes look thicker, longer, and more enhanced overall. I can even push this sample to almost six months of use, because it does not clump much.
Willing to Try Again
Fairy Tales Lemonade Conditioner- I purchased this for my boys in the summer of 2013 to wash their hair with after swimming. My older son had long hair, so I thought conditioner would help with his tangles. He rarely used it. Even when I told him before showering to use it, he’d forget. As my younger son did not have a lot of hair, he did not really need it. One day while staring at it, I decided to finish it myself and not let it go to waste or exceed two years. Yes, I know these things can last up to three years, but I did not want it to get that old. The verdict is it was all right. It is a little thin for a conditioner, and it did not help much with my tangles. Thank goodness for detanglers. On the bright side, it ran into my eyes one day and did not burn in the slightest. It did not really do anything for my hair, so I doubt I would purchase it again. If it got to me another way, it was not so terrible that I would not use it.
Napoleon Pardis Auto Pilot Lift Off- When Ulta discounted this line to 50% off, I had to pick these up. They must have been really old stock, because they were almost completely dry by the time they arrived. As with my typical Ulta orders, it took about 10 days to arrive. I emailed Ulta multiple times and did not get a real response, so I called. The man I spoke with said he’d reorder them. After about two weeks with no confirmation, no delivery, or no contact, I called again. This was the one month anniversary of the order, since it took 10 days to arrive, almost a week of ignored emails, and almost two weeks since the last call. The rep informed me that despite seeing the notes from my call, the replacement order did not go through. Since the product was no longer in stock, she offered me a gift card for the item. After paying for the item a month earlier, I was given a gift card for the exact amount I paid, nothing more. They were double the cost everywhere else, so the Ulta branded gift card did me no good. Luckily, I always save the damaged product until the new item arrives.
I wanted to try these, so I decided I would just try them dry. Every time I used one, I poured micellar water on it. You should not reactivate products with water and this is generally a huge no-no, so I am not suggesting anyone do this. It just irritated me that Ulta cost me the chance to try these at a discount by not handling it right away. They were still in stock when I emailed three times to no real response and when I called the first time. Who knows anyway? If my wipes arrived dry, replacement orders may have been dry, too. The wipe itself was fantastic. It was soft and large. I wonder how well these work when you do not have to reactivate the moisture, so I would be willing to try them again. When they’re mostly dry, they do not remove all the makeup.
Ole Henriksen Truth is in the Eyes Peel- I did not get to use this long enough to decide how I feel. It expired in June and although I was brave enough to try it three times in early July, but the idea of using an expired product near my eyes got to me. In total, I used this less than 10 times. While I did not notice any obvious peeling, I did not react to it either. If a non-expired one makes its way to me, I will give it a longer go. Had I read Beautypedia’s review on this sooner, I would have started applying it to my face once I realized it was about to expire before I could finish it.
OPI Avoplex Moisture Replenishing Lotion- It did a nice job moisturizing, but I did not care for the scent. I’d be willing to try this in a different scent. If a sample made it to me, I do not hate the scent enough to move it into the not for me group, so I would try it. I bought this to get over the shipping minimum at Ulta, but I would pick something else next time I need to go over.
H2o+ Grapefruit Bergamot Body Lotion- The best thing about this lotion is it reminds me of my happy place every time I use it. This is Disney’s most common scent. I like the scent, and the lotion is respectable. It is a little thin, so I cannot use this on my hands, but it works well on my body during warmer months.
Perricone MD Formula 15- This formula has high ratings and I am not sure why. The sample was small, so I am unwilling to write it off forever. However, the smell was not the best. I did not feel overly moisturized from the thin to medium density cream either. If I try this again, I will only try a larger sample. From this little foil, I cannot notice anything special.
Mario Badescu Flower and Tonic Mask- I did not notice single difference in my before or after skin using this mask three times. It is best for oily skin and not combination skin, so it is probably not the right type of mask for me. If I use this again, I will not apply it to the dry parts of my face, since it cannot really help those areas at all.
Ulta Self Tanner Applicator Mitt- It was a bit thinner than the St Tropez version and did not spread the product as evenly. Some tanner actually seeped through the mitt on my hands. Why is it here instead of the not for me group? It still worked better than hands alone. While I would never buy this full price, I would purchase it on sale or with an Ulta coupon.
Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse- The color on this product is actually very pretty and natural looking. It takes forever to set. According to the directions, you should not wash it off for 3-24 hours, but if I wash my hands more than 3 hours out, I can see the color near my wrists washing off in the sink. This means I have to wait a full 24 hours post application to shower and my dry skin is super bothered by then. Dark spots on my face always get darker when I use this, but they never seem to fade as quickly as the product fades, which is frustrating. My skin is also to dry to go straight from the shower to applying a tanning cream. I will be testing an in shower body lotion soon to see if that helps at all with tanning creams. In the mean time, the tiny white patches where the product does not seep into the dry skin bother me.
I originally got this sample from the 2013 sun safety kit. The sample is generous, so there was a little left over after applying it to my entire body (minus my back). It did not feel like enough product to cover much, so I put it away and forgot about it. After getting a second sample of this from the summer crushes in 2014, I decided I had enough to try it again. I ordered it late summer in 2014, so I decided to try it the following summer. That made the new sample about a year old. Until I looked up my review, I could not remember exactly when I tried my original sample. Turns out, I tried it over two years earlier.
I started with my legs, so I opened the new tanning mousse first. After my legs, I wanted to do my arms. Thinking the amount in the old mousse may have been enough for at least one arm possibly two, I got that next. It came out blue! Thank goodness I started with the brand new one (well had it for almost a year but just opened it), so I knew blue was not a good color. While I cannot recall if I saw months after opening logo, I know that they do not last for two years! Had I known the product would come out bad I would have started with the Ulta mitt, because I hate that it took two mitts to get through one tanning application and would have rather wasted the inferior one. Once I saw the blue foam, I decided I would use all the new sample in one use. Who knows exactly when in the two-year period it went bad. It may have been a while, but there is not enough in the sample to do your whole body twice anyway, and the color is buildable.
Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy- I do not suffer from dandruff, but my scalp does get dry and flaky at times, so a little dandruff shampoo never hurts. This came in the summer Wal-Mart Beauty Box I received on 06/30/15. Dandruff shampoos have an active medicine that only work through the expiration date. Considering this one expired in May, I never had a shot to test the full potential of the dandruff shampoo. As a regular shampoo, it was fine. It does not have a super raunchy dandruff shampoo smell, but you can always smell a dandruff shampoo user. This is no exception. I emailed Wal-Mart to let them know they’re sending expired samples. They responded by asking for my order number and a bunch of other irrelevant questions to letting them know it is bad. Thus, I did not respond to their million question email. If they did not know it expired, I informed them. My task was complete.
Molton Brown Pure Milk Soap- My husband went on a business trip in June to Miami. Although he did not take me with him, he did bring me back some of the Molton Brown ammenities provided by the Fontainebleau. I do appreciate that they use real Molton Brown products and not cheap, watered down versions outsourced to an outside company as most hotels do. Regardless, this soap still leaves a slight film on my skin like every other bar soap I’ve tried. My husband claims bar soaps rinse clean, so his skin feels better. It is odd we have different experiences, but I guess we all dislike products others love and vice versa.
Aveda Refreshing Cleansing Bar- I would use this on my next Renaissance Hotel stay, which is where I got this. It is another in a long line of bar soaps that leaves a slight film on my skin though.
Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil- This one has me conflicted, which is why I would try it again to settle it. In 2013, I received two samples of this. I used the first one right away and enjoyed it as per the review I wrote. The other sample sat in my stash for a while, and I finally opened it in early 2015 when my skin was feeling dry. Unlike the first time where my face felt squeaky clean and soft, it only felt soft and not clean. This product is difficult to lather and takes a decent amount of work. Toward the end, I found myself using a lot to feel clean, but it did not work. As the samples arrived within a month of each other, the problem cannot be a change in formula. It is possible the second one while never opened, went bad. There was no expiration or batch number, so I was unable to check its expiration.
YSL BabyDoll Mascara- I am so picky with mascara. There is only one I’d put in my loves list (so far), but I liked this. It did not clump, which is always a plus. My lashes did not seem overly volumized with this.
Eurcerin Calming Lotion- I am a huge Eucerin fan. This specific product is very cheap, so I use it as an add-on at both Ulta and Drugstore.com when I need to get over a shipping minimum. (Reminder Drugstore.com rewards released today and are good through the end of the month). It is a little thin compared to the rest of the Eucerin line. Short of needing something cheap to throw into an order, I would not buy this.
H2o+ Grapefruit Bergamot Shampoo- The best thing about this shampoo is it reminds me of my happy place every time I use it. This is Disney’s most common scent. I like the scent, and the shampoo is decent.
Not for Me
Peter Thomas Roth Mega Rich Body Lotion- Every time I use this, it reminds me of In Living Color. Google it if you’ve never heard of it. There was a funny skit where people would ask an older woman to describe the man who “fill in the blank.” She would always say, he looked like a man.” They would ask follow-up questions and get nowhere. No description at all other than he looked like a man. To me, this smells like a man. I cannot tell you why, but it is not feminine at all. It is really thin and has no redeeming qualities yet most of the time I stay at a Hilton, I take these to go with me. On our last stay, I left this there when we left. It felt good. Of course, I still had others in my stash that I am trying to use up. Despite smelling like a man, my husband is not a fan either, so I cannot pawn these off on him.
Heavenly Spa White Tea and Aloe Body Lotion- This is a thin body lotion that is not extremely moisturizing. The bad smell on this also lingered a lot longer than it did from shampoo or conditioner form.