September Empties with Mini Reviews!

September Empties!

September Empties!

How was everyone’s September? New schools? New jobs? September was a hugely busy month for me, full of workshops and interviews, and next month will be even busier as I am to be starting a new job with long hours. I think I will only be able to post on weekends, sadly. I did manage to get through some items this month however! I will go through them one by one as numbered in the photo below, left to right, and add in some mini reviews and applicable links to previous reviews and the like.

Empties_Sept_2014_Numbered

 

1) Coppertone SPF 60 Continuous Spray Waterproof Sunscreen

Not that anyone should need any extra reasons to wear sunscreen at all times, but I am allergic to the sun. A few minutes of unprotected sun exposure and I’m stuck with an itchy hives reaction that can last for weeks (this is known as Polymorphic Light Eruption). So I keep my face, hands, and any other exposed skin covered at all times. I grabbed this one as not only was it on sale, but I liked the idea of a waterproof formula to make sure it sticks on during a potentially sweaty summer day when I am unable to reapply. The product was an easy to use spray on. It did leave a sticky feeling however, presumably from whatever ingredient in it makes it waterproof. I didn’t mind this until I noticed every speck of dirt and dust I walked past stuck to my skin and was hard to wash off! The scent was also somewhat strong to me, something typically beachy with a splash of light floral and a side of chemicals. If you’ve smelled Jennifer Aniston’s first fragrance, which supposedly was also intended to be beachy, it smells like that. Due to the stickyness and scent, I would not rebuy. I did like the spray on aspect, but I think I will stick to cream formulas thought winter. Will not rebuy.

2) Maybelline Full ‘n Soft Waterproof Mascara in Very Black

This, for reasons that entirely escape me, has been discontinued in Canada. I believe it is still available in the US. This has been my HG mascara for for twelve or thirteen years maybe. It builds well to great volume and length, doesn’t flake (until the tube gets a bit old and dried up), leaves my lashes soft and pliable with no spiky, spidery lash attributes, and is in fact waterproof. Not too hard to wash off. I am down to one last stashed away tube, after that there’s no more here to be found in Canada. I will miss it! If there are any US readers who would like to enable my Full ‘n Soft addiction I would be more than receptive to the idea! I would rebuy but it doesn’t exist here.

3) Bath & Body Works White Citrus Shower Gel

A zesty, sparkling citrus scent with notes of ginger and water lily. A slight musky base. I liked this enough to use as a shower gel and diluted in my foamy hand soap dispensers as detailed in this post. It was nice and refreshing. I don’t think I liked it enough to rebuy. I think this would make a great scent for a laundry detergent or a room spray or candle.

4) Pantene Sheer Volume Weightless Shampoo Sample

This shampoo has an interesting texture in that it is more of a thick, gel like formula and not at all liquid. It didn’t pour out. I used this by squeezing out little jelly blobs. I liked this far more than I usually like Pantene products, probably because the formula was so, so different. I did a good job, and my hair didn’t feel limp afterwards when dry. Even the scent is better than usual Pantene offerings, reminds me more of something Fructis might make. Worth noting is that sodium laurel sulfate is it’s primary surfactant, which some people can have sensitivities to. I’m usually ok with it if I don’t use it too many days in a row, otherwise my scalp gets itchy. I would consider buying this if I found it at a great price and needed shampoo at the time.

5) Pantene Sheer Volume Weightless Conditioner Sample

Like it’s shampoo counterpart, this formula was completely different than Pantene’s other conditioner offerings. In fact, the formula reminded me a lot of Tres Emme’s, which is my go to every day conditioner and has been for years. This did the job well and smelled pretty good. I would consider buying if it were at a great price and I needed conditioner at the time, but I can’t see it ever being any better or cheaper than my $4 a liter Tres Emme. But good job an this new shampoo/conditioner, Pantene.

6) John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo Sample

I didn’t notice any lightening. The formula didn’t lather well, and had a strange chemical undertone to the scent. Would not buy. Seemed almost indistinguishable, aside from the colour from it’s purple tone correcting counterpart I reviewed in my last empties post. Says it’s ammonia and peroxide free. How is this intended to lighten?

7) Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream

Also known as Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream Night depending on where you buy it from. This is a retinol treatment I have used for a year now and do not intend on stopping, unless I upgrade to a higher dose of retinol. There is still a couple of uses left in this tube, but I felt it would be an important addition to my empties post to demonstrate how long this little 40ml tube lasts. My last empty tube made an appearance in my debut empties post back in May, so I get at least four months worth of use out of one tube. I buy this when it’s on sale for about $16-17 Canadian, so I get my retinol treatments and results for less then $5 a month. Amazing. I’ve done a very in depth full review as well if you’d like to check it out. I will rebuy this until they stop making it, which I hope is never.

8) Diorskin Forever Flawless Perfection Wear Makeup SPF 25 Sample

I don’t have the little Sephora bag that had the label on it, but I believe this was in shade #010. I went into Sephora asking for samples of foundation of longer wearing, SPF bearing formulas, and this was the winner. It is basically perfect. Coverage was impeccable, it lasted all day in humid weather, no smudging, smearing, or transferring. I found I only needed extra concealer on my dark under eye circles when I used this. The finish is skin like, and just matte enough. I would buy this, but at the atrocious price of $49 Canadian that won’t be happening. I won’t feel too bad about asking for more samples however, after what Sephora put me though, and use it on occasions I need my skin to look nicer.

Hope everyone had a wonderful and productive September! I’m looking forward to October and all the spooky stuff (and candy) it brings with it!

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Enormous August Empties Post with Mini Reviews!

August Empties

August Empties

Summer has blown by far too quickly for my liking! Monday is September, and although I like the Fall, I’m still a bit sad to see the pretty summer colours and clothing go. At least I got through a lot of products this summer! This post is huge! Looks like most will be hair care products which I suppose isn’t surprising, I do have a lot of hair. There is also a lot of bath & shower gel type things. I have a lot of these, as I love having so many different scents to choose from. I wasn’t satisfied with only being able to use one per shower, so I decided to come up with a way I could enjoy all these luxurious, yummy smells more often. Whenever one of my Bath & Body Works foamy soap dispensers is empty, after a good rinse I fill the bottom with an inch or so of a selected shower gel. I add a bit of warm water to dilute, stir, then top up, and stir again with the pump. The trick here is to make sure it is *stirred* and not shaken. James Bond would be disappointed. Every time I have shaken this kind of mixture it somehow screws up the pump foaming mechanism. On to my empties! Numbered and described below, left to right.

August Empties

August Empties

 

1) Tres Emme Tres Two Extra Hold Hairspray

It did the job at a good price. I liked it. The only thing I didn’t like was the fragrance. I would buy it again (I actually didn’t buy this one, it was a gift with purchase) but in unscented, should it be available like that.

2) Schwarzkopf got2be Glossy Anti-Frizz Shine Serum

This was ok. Not much different than any other silicone serum, perhaps a bit thicker. I use a silicone serum daily or my hair become a completely unmanageable frizz fest, and I have found that they are pretty well all the same at any price point. I only bought this one as it was what was on sale at the time. I usually buy the Fructis version as I can generally find it on sale for about $2.50, it has a pump, and it smells great while doing the job. Would not buy again unless I had no other more cost effective options.

3) Yves Rocher Organic Vanilla Shower Gel

Pretty decent vanilla scent. On the sweeter side. Didn’t make my skin itchy or dry. I can’t see myself buying again, I think this was a gift with purchase as well. If you really like sweet vanilla and are placing an Yves Rocher order, I don’t think you’d be disappointed.

4) Bath & Body Works Country Chic Shower Gel

A sweet, citrusy summery floral with a caramel base. Kind of unique. More complex than other BBW fragrances. I like it but not more than my other BBW scents I have reviewed recently, Sunset by the Pool and Peach & Honey Almond (plus there’s more to come!) I still have some of this left in a body spray so can’t see myself needing to rebuy.

5) Bath & Body Works Coconut Lime Breeze Shower Gel

Also known as Coconut Lime Verbena, I think, before the repackaging. This is a super summery, potently tropical lime coconut scent. Very rich for what the notes are. It smelled familiar to me, and I eventually discovered it has 6 notes in common with my old beloved and long discontinued Ralph Lauren Hot, so I used this as a base before wearing the Hot. I don’t see myself repurchasing any time soon as I still have some of this in the spray.

6) The Body Shop Moroccan Rose Shower Gel

A slightly spicy, tiny bit citrusy rose scent. I use this before any rose based scent I’m planning on wearing. It’s a nice, soft, soothing smell. I also have gone through most of the full size bottle of this as well. Might or might not replace, not at that point yet. The lotion of this is also lovely.

7) Yves Rocher Jardins de Monde Laotion Lotus Flower Shower Gel

A fresh, slightly green watery floral. Quite refreshing. I used this before using any watery or water lotus scents. Good formula. This was a gift with purchase, can’t see myself rebuying but was nice while it lasted.

8) Tres Emme 24 Hour Body Silk Protein Conditioner

I have a giant, larger than this bottle even, bottle of Tres Emme conditioner with a pump that I continually refill with more Tres Emme conditioner. I’ve been doing this for probably about 7 years now, at least. It performs well for my extra long, super fine, prone to frizz hair type, and I buy it for something like $4 a litre! This version and the “Climate Control” version are my favourites and I alternate between them. The scent is a fresh-fruity type which doesn’t compete with any other fragrance I might have on. I will continue buying this/these until they stop making them. Love it!

9) Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Color Infinity Shampoo & Conditioner

This was a sample mailed to me. Enormously disappointing. The formula reminds me of Pantene’s, which I also find to be disappointing every single time. Both are Proctor & Gamble. It just doesn’t work with my hair type, might be great for someone else. A quick glance over the ingredient list shows it is very basic, and there is nothing special in here to help keep your hair colour. Basically any well formulated hair care product wouldn’t strip your colour these days. Even the fragrance is remarkably boring. Would never buy this. Vidal Sassoon had an incarnation in the mid 90’s with a formula and fragrance I really liked. Perhaps that was before it’s P&G days. Sad that version wasn’t relaunched.

10) John Frieda Color Renew Tone Correcting Shampoo

I don’t really have a huge problem with brassiness as I prefer my blonde to be on the warmer side, and not too light. I do use these types of purple shampoos from time to time. This one has the same issue I find with all of them – they don’t lather well. Now I know that a big sudsy lather doesn’t necessarily mean it is cleaning your hair better, but I like it. I like to think the bubbles are lifting the dirt and oils up and away to be rinsed off. Maybe I’m imagining it. Otherwise, this shampoo was ok. My hair looked decent after use. Scent was a tiny bit chemically. I think I’d have to use it a lot longer to see any significant tone change, however. As I already have a bottle of straight up purple shampoo for blondes, I wouldn’t purchase. If I didn’t have that, I might.

11) Vichy Normaderm Anti-Age Resurfacing Care

Also claims to be anti-imperfection, and anti-wrinkle. I didn’t buy this, this is one of many products my mom hands over to me when she decides it might not be right for her. I have noticed a trend in these – they often contain alcohol. This product does as well. Mom, read the ingredients, and don’t buy skin care full of alcohol, your skin hates it! Basically, this product is a salicylic acid treatment trying to be fancy. It smells lovely, but facial skin care does not require fragrance. I used this on my less sensitive chest area instead of my face, as alcohol tends to make it oilier, and I liked it for that, but I would never buy this due to the alcohol content. How a product containing skin aggravating alcohol can claim to be anti aging is beyond me.

12) Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne Sample

I am surprised how much I liked this. The sample the very nice girl gave me (she was new, and had not yet succumbed to the ways of Sephora) was very small as there wasn’t any left in the bottle, but I did like the small amount I tried. I went back a month later hoping to find someone to pull another one for me, but the same empty bottle was sitting there, and no one was around to assist me anyway. What a surprise. Anyway, this smells like a classy, rose based scent. I’d like to say more but I’m afraid I would need another sample!

13) Lancome Bienfait UV SPF 50 Ultra Fluid Sunscreen

Last and certainly least. So glad to finally see the back of this one. I hated it for my face, as you can read in my full review here. Another facial care product loaded with alcohol. As it still performed well as a sunblock, I used it on less sensitive areas to finish using it up (like feet.) They would need to reformulate this with the skin aggravating ingredients removed for me to ever consider purchasing it again!

So much stuff! Has anyone else tried any of these products? What did you think? Thanks for reading, enjoy the last of your summer!

Bath & Body Works Peach & Honey Almond Fine Fragrance Mist Review!

Bath & Body Works Peach & Honey Almond FIne Fragrance Mist

Bath & Body Works Peach & Honey Almond FIne Fragrance Mist

When I was last at Bath & Body Works picking up the Sunset by the Pool which I enjoy very much (so it’s probably already discontinued) they gave me a coupon for $10 off with a card that told me of a new line launch, Artisanal Fragrances. The line includes Lemon Pomegranate Cream, Apple Blossom & Lavender, and the one I really wanted, Peach & Honey Almond, knowing that I love each and every one of the notes in the fragrance’s name.

The other offerings in the line didn’t quite grab me, although the Lemon Pomegranate Cream was quite refreshing and would probably be an awesome shower gel. Although the Peach & Honey Almond wasn’t exactly what I was expecting/hoping for, it is still quite lovely. I was really hoping for something more peachy, as I am on my never ending quest to find the perfect peach fragrance (so far Summer by the Pool is in first place). From Bath & Body Works, the notes in this fragrance are presented as follows!

 

Top Notes:

Juicy Peach, Flowering Quince, Zesty Clementine

Peach & Honey Almond Top Notes

Peach & Honey Almond Top Notes

 

Middle Notes:

Mimosa Flower, Apple Blossom, Blackberry Leaf, Almond

Peach & Honey Almond Middle Notes

Peach & Honey Almond Middle Notes

 

Base Notes:

Whipped Meringue, Caramel Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Creamy Golden Honey

Peach & Honey Almond Base Notes

Peach & Honey Almond Base Notes

Delicious sounding notes! After wearing this for a moment I realized it reminded me very much of another fragrance I like. Bath & Body Works Peach & Honey Almond is like Burberry Brit Light. I checked, and they have some notes in common: citrus, sugar (honey), tonka bean, vanilla, and most of all almond, that make them seem somewhat alike. This works out well for me as Although I love Burberry Brit in cold weather, it is far too heavy and cloying for a humid summer day. Peach & Honey Almond is a perfect ultra lightweight substitute!

I would also describe this fragrance as sweet, smooth, and a bit fuzzy. This is neither an in your face fruity nor floral. It’s a bit more gourmand. They honey/almond/tonka bean dry down adds the warmth and coziness of a musk without the pungency, which is nice. I can’t say as I pick up a heck of a lot of peach in this, but I am certainly not disappointed in it. I think this would wear well even in winter. Hope they keep it around a while!

I didn’t grab the other forms of Peach & Honey Almond as I kept this purchase very minimal (just enough to use the coupon), but there was a lotion, bar soap, a body scrub and shower gel for each of the new fragrances. I’m sure the fragrance would translate nicely to them, the lotion especially. If I find them on a great sale I might pick them up. Perhaps the Lemon Pomegranate one in shower gel form as I liked how refreshing it was.

Has anyone tried these out yet?

Enjoy your weekend!

Bath & Body Works Sunset By The Pool Fragrance Line Review!

Bath & Body Works Sunset by the Pool

Bath & Body Works Sunset by the Pool

It’s exceptionally rare that I am near a Bath & Body Works at all, let alone in one when they are having a crazy good sale on their new stuff! They happened to have their entire new summer line on for $5 apiece, so I made an exception (I’m trying to be on a body care buying break) and picked some up. Considering a full set of the large sizes of the fine fragrance mist (236ml/8oz), shower gel (295ml/10oz) and body lotion (236ml/8oz) would be $15 combined, it was well worth it. From their website, regular prices in Canada are $14 for the fine fragrance mist, $12.50 for the shower gel and $12.50 for the body lotion at the time of this post.

The new summer line (that I could find here) includes Cool Coconut Surf, Hello Sunshine, Peace, Love & Daisies, and Sweet Summer Kiss. I found it hard to get a good sniff of any of them with so so many nice smelling products interfering. I gave up on trying to figure out if I liked them by smell and looked for what the fragrance’s notes were as a jumping off point. I almost went with Hello Sunshine, when I picked up a bottle of Sunset by the Pool and read the notes: White Peach, Exotic Passionfruit and Sun-Warmed Woods. A quick perfunctory sniff assured me it smelled okay. As I have been looking for a more than single note peach based scent for a long time, I decided to grab this one.

When I got home, I decided to look up the notes. Their website shows two different sets of notes! The “Key Fragrance Notes” are still listed as a sun-ripe blend of white peach, exotic passionfruit & sun-warmed woods. But then there was a different breakdown when it came to the top, middle and basenotes, as follows:

  • Top Notes: Fuzzy Apricot, Sparkling Bergamot, Juicy Grapefruit
Top Notes of Sunset by the Pool

Top Notes of Sunset by the Pool

 

  • Middle Notes: Lily Of The Valley, Mirabel Plum, Blood Orange, Apple Blossom
Middle Notes of Sunset by the Pool

Middle Notes of Sunset by the Pool

 

  • Base Notes: Sun Warmed Woods, Madagascar Vanilla
Base Notes of Sunset by the Pool

Base Notes of Sunset by the Pool

 

What’s not listed here:

WHERE'S MY PEACHES?!

WHERE’S MY PEACHES?!

As you can see, no peach! Although I suppose apricot is close. Now to me, at first spray this fragrance hits me with pineapple! Not even in the notes! Along with the pineapple is a huge, juicy amount of blood orange. I love blood orange, and all citrus really, so I’m okay with this part too. The super juicy part does last for a good while, longer than I expected. Once it settles, it mellows out to a barely perceptible vanilla wood smell. You would have to really be looking for the vanilla to find it here. It works as a nice smooth base for the rest of the notes. What I mostly get out of this for the majority of the fragrance is a chewy, possibly dried, plummy apricot. This is sweet, but it is more the sweetness of fresh, ripened fruit rather than sugar. Delicious.

Label shows a peach and a hibiscus – there’s no peach nor hibiscus in this. It’s still delicious though!

Sunset by the Pool Label

Sunset by the Pool Label

The fragrance doesn’t last very long, maybe a couple of hours to my own nose, although I’m sure others would still be able to smell it faintly. As it’s a body spray, and not a strong scent to begin with, I wasn’t really expecting huge lasting power. It’s good enough for what it is!

As for the lotion, it’s a decent formula. It absorbs well and smells true to the fragrance, although it does reach the smooth dry down sooner than the spray. I generally prefer my lotions to be more emollient (I don’t know why my skin just soaks them up, it’s not that dry) but it’s good enough for light moisture. The formula boasts shea butter, vitamin E and aloe according to the label. Click for larger pictures.

Sunset by the Pool Lotion Label

Sunset by the Pool Lotion Label

The shower gel is as juicy as the fragrance and also performs well. Most shower gels I can’t use for more than a couple days in a row without my skin starting to hate it but this one seems fine so far! The shower gel also contains shea butter, vitamin E and aloe. The label below.

Sunset by the Pool Shower Gel Label

Sunset by the Pool Shower Gel Label

Overall I really like this, especially at the price I found it! I also like to layer it with another summer fragrance I have, which will also be reviewed at a later time. If you’re looking for a juicy, apricoty summer treat, give this a try. If you are looking for something truly peach, keep looking (I will). This will hold the place until I find something really peachy!

Have a great weekend, maybe even by the pool!