When the new month starts, I toss everything I finished the previous month. I give a mini review of each item. Items I love are usually repurchased, so some of them appear in the Empties Series a lot. 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. Items that are not for me may not always be empty. Generally, I finish them but do not use them again in the future. If they’re really awful and new samples find their way to me, I give them to someone else unopened. For items I really love, I spotlight ones I’ve finished and others I have yet to finish, so I can discuss them in more detail.
OGX nourishing coconut milk Split End Mender- Since I started using this, it takes a lot longer than usual for my ends to spilt. That helps me go longer between hair cuts and keeps my hair looking healthier for longer. It saddens me that OGX no longer makes this product. Not only would I have named this a FabuFind, but I would have purchased some to stock up had I known. I purchased the product that seemed to replace this, the OGX nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum. It will take a while before I know if the replacement is comparable to the original, so I am not ready to review it yet. I can say that the serum, which resembles a clear oil does not seem to penetrate the hair as deeply as the original that looked like a thick, white conditioner.
Photo Phytolisse Ultra-Glossing Finishing Serum- This helps with frizz and adds shine from the first use as promised. The 0.17oz sample was generous considering how little of this you need. After using it only three times, it rolled off the gym bench and cracked on the floor. It looks like the full-size has a glass bottle, just like the sample. Hopefully, it is more steady and does not tip over as easily, because I may purchase this once I’ve made my way through some other samples.
Lancome L’extrait Eye Cream- This is still a FabuFind. I love and curse the day I decided to try this sample. Why you ask? It retails for $260 for a 0.5oz jar. That is $520 an ounce. While I adored the sample, I doubt I will ever pay that price. It really seems to make my eyes look brighter and lines look reduced. Love the effect! SAKS and Neiman Marcus have not sent me offers for any more free samples, so that gravy train may have dried up. After sharing my love of this item with a couple go other people, including my giveaway winner, I am all out. A sales associate did tell me I could use the regular L’extrait cream, which is cheaper per ounce than the eye cream, for my eyes. The ingredients are slightly different, but I do still have 2-3 samples of that cream left. I will try it on my eyes if I cannot find a suitable replacement. The eye cream I am sampling now is nowhere near as good as this.
Blue Stop Max Massage Gel for Body Aches- This thin, blue gel worked about as well as my Elemis gel, which is a lot more expensive. I will probably buy a full size and alternate this with the Elemis to see which one works better. It is a topical analgesic that soothes and penetrates deeply. The formula has a special mixture of Cetylated Fatty Acids, Emu Oil, MSM, Glucosamine, Aloe Vera, and Menthol. It is safe for daily use for rapid relief of muscle and joint soreness, and it delivers fast and effective relief for overall body aches. I really appreciated it after a tough workout.
Olay Ultra Moisture with Shea Butter Body Wash- I received this in a PINCHme box, and though I loved it, I donated the one they sent me in the second PINCHme box. This is a thick cleanser with a high concentration of shea butter. It lathers and cleanses extremely well. Although my skin is very dry, so I still feel the need to moisturize after using it, I do find this formula moisturizing. Someone without overly dry skin could skip the moisturizer after using this.
Ole Henriksen Protect The Truth™ Vitamin C SPF 50+ Sunscreen- This is still a FabuFind. It has an amazing scent that smells more like lemons than sunscreen. My skin never burns when I wear it. The formula is matte, and does not break me out.
Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray- This refreshing spray helps my makeup last longer than when I forget to use it. Even in the Vegas summer, this helps some of my makeup stay on. I plan on experimenting to see if there is a setting spray that help all of my makeup stay in. If there is not, I will gladly repurchase this, because my makeup needs help staying on.
Aveeno Active Naturals protect + hydrate- Two-in-one products are usually not my thing. This is a nice one though. It cuts getting ready time by a few minutes, which is always wonderful. I do not feel like I am sacrificing hydration or protection, because it does both extremely well. The best part is it does not have a heavy sunscreen smell, so I could use this everyday I am going outside if I wanted to.
philosophy full of promise dual-action restoring cream- This is much thicker than I expected, because the other philosophy creams I’ve tried were all too thin for my dry skin. I saved this for warm weather, but this would probably actually work in cold weather. It is hydrating, long-lasting and comfortable.
Willing to Try Again
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser- This does not lather at all, and I prefer lather. It is just harder to tell if I am really cleansing when it does not lather. I am fine with using this most of the time, because it does seem moisturizing and removes less natural body oils with its lack of lather. When I’ve had a healthy workout, I cannot reach for this. My son loves this, so I will continue to buy it.
Banana Boat Kids Max Protect & Play- I wanted to try a spray sunscreen that I could apply to wet skin, because it makes reapplying easier. It has a 110 SPF, which I know science has all but refuted that number. This does protect, and I do not get burned. Although it is a bit more of a hassle applying cream sunscreen to wet skin, I think it is better. My days of trying spray sunscreens (other than ones for scalps) are probably over, but I would use this again if it made its way to me.
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Nightly Brightening Pad- Some things from this brand are a little strong for sensitive skin. My main goal with this sample was to see if my skin could handle it. The good news is I did not react to this. I did not see or feel any results from this, so I would be willing to sample it longer to see if it does anything.
Yves Saint Laurent Youth Liberator Creme- This is a moderately thick cream that does a fine job moisturizing. It has a heavy perfumed scent, but it is not one I cannot tolerate. I did not react to this cream, so I’d be willing to try it in a larger size to see if it has any effect on my skin.
h2o+ Sea Marine Collagen Conditioner- It spreads nicely and smells great. I am not certain it does a lot for my frizzy hair, but it does not seem to make it worse either.
h2o+ Grapefruit Bergamot Conditioner- The conditioner is probably the best item from this line if I had to pick. It is nothing I would go out of my way to purchase. I like the scent and it conditions even though it is on the thin side. Plus, I love the scent that reminds me of Disney.
Not For Me
Granted, I did not finish a lot of products this month, but there was nothing I genuinely hated for the first time. That makes this uneventful month somewhat successful.
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.