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!

Lancome Bienfait UV SPF 50 Ultra Fluid Texture Facial Sunscreen (and GWP) Review

Lancome Bienfait UV SPF50

Lancome Bienfait UV SPF50

“Bien Fait” is french for “well done”. Did Lancome aptly name this facial sunscreen offering? Well, almost. Perhaps they could have more accurately named this sub brand “Presque”. I’ve been using this product for quite some time now (over a year), and  now that it’s almost gone I feel I’ve accumulated enough experience and information for a thorough, fair review. This was a rare treat for me, as I almost never go higher end for cosmetic products. My local pharmacy was offering a gift with $35 Lancome purchase, and I happened to be there specifically in the market for a facial sunscreen. Lancome’s Beinfait UV SPF 50 was exactly $35 at the time, and the free gift was pretty good! Inside a pretty (and by now well used) purple make up bag was a moisturizer, mascara, bronzer, eyeshadow, lipstick, make up remover, and I think a serum of some sort which is by now long gone. It was a ton of stuff! The eyeshadow itself was the clincher, I loved the shades. It was an afterthought to gather up the GWP for a photo, but after realizing I had most of it left in various states of use I figured I should!

Lancome GWP

Lancome GWP

Included in the gift makeup bag (that I remember):

-Star Bronzer Natural Glow in 01 Lumiere (not bad, a bit sparkly for day)

-Definicils Precious Cells Mascara in Black (beat up from living in my purse makeup bag, smells like roses, it’s gloppy but ok)

-Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover (also smells like roses, don’t find it any more effective than any other dual layer remover)

-Renergie Lift Volumetry Volumetric Lifting and Reshaping Cream, because apparently creams can do that (nope). I don’t use this on my face as I don’t like jar packaging as I find it unsanitary to continually dip your fingers in and put it on your face. I put this away in a bed side drawer and sometimes use as hand cream when I remember.

-Color Design Cream Lipstick in Natural Beauty (perhaps someone else’s natural beauty, as this is too warm/brown for me on it’s own, nice texture and pigment though – reminds me of the 90’s)

-Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow quad with Pink Pearls (matte), Lavender Girl (shimmer), Clock Strikes 12 (matte) and Sultry Mauve (Matte). I quite like these and often wear it to interviews.

Below are swatches in varying lights, from top to bottom Star Bronzer Lumiere, Pink Pearls, Lavender Girl, Sultry Mauve, Clock Strikes 12, then the Natural Beauty Lipstick.



Lancome Natural Beauty

Lancome Natural Beauty

Lancome Natural Beauty

Lancome Natural Beauty

Back to the actual product I intended to review! Lancome Bienfait UV SPF 50 Ultra Fluid Texture Facial Sunscreen claims to be a quick absorbing. oil free, non comedogenic water resistant broad spectrum UVA/UVB protective sunscreen. Oil free, I guess so. Quick absorbing? Eh, not really. I found I was left with a thin layer of sheen, and I used oil absorbing sheets to pull that off my face before make up application so I wouldn’t be a greasy mess. I’m unable to quantify if it is water resistant as I don’t generally go splashing about after I apply my make up for the day. Non comedogenic? Perhaps for some, but I feel this irritated my skin somewhat, causing a few smaller cysctic acne type breakouts that I have’t gotten since I stopped using this sunscreen, so there goes that claim. As far as effective UVA/UVB coverage goes, well the ingredient list shows the right amount of the right chemicals to make that claim true, so at least there’s that. There is a piece of plastic in the bottle that rattles when you shake it, these are in most of this type of sunscreen bottles I’ve found. The bottle top includes a nice little nozzle/pour spout thing, presumably to keep it from getting everywhere, because…



…application itself was a bit slippery due to the very liquid nature of the product. It was downright runny. Although this does in fact aid in spreading it around your face, it doesn’t help you from keeping it out of areas you do not wish it, such as your eyes! The smell is very strong, and typical of sunscreen scent. Once on, it does burn my skin on a more sensitive day, and the fumes bother my eyes. I will attribute this to the deal breaker ingredient: ALCOHOL. Why, Lancome? I could have put up with the runny texture, and I don’t mind blotting before make up application, but alcohol, in this high of a concentration (I can smell it!) in a leave on product? No no no! I could also blame the skin irritation and strong smell on the alcohol as well. The alcohol content in leave on products causes dryness, free radical damage and irritation. I would think such a well known long standing cosmetics company would know as much. Presumably it was added for the thin, fast drying feel.

I told myself I’d use this til it ran out and never repurchase. The alcohol alone is a deal breaker, especially in a product that doesn’t contain any antioxidants or skin communicating ingredients to mitigate the free radical damage it causes on it’s own. I can’t see why someone would want to pay more for a high end product that will do more harm than good to their skin. I only paid $35 for this (and it’s free gifts), and from what I can see they have raised the cost on this to something around $10 more for this same sub par formulation. To me this is unfathomable. Now that I’ve reached the tail end of this product I will be glad to see the back of it. It would not be worth the repurchase even at the lower cost and free gift I got it at! You can do better Lancome! Will be leaving my sunscreen product needs in the hands of Olay and Neutrogena from now on!

Full ingredient listing as follows:

Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%), Oxybenzone (6%), Other: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denatured, Silica, Dicaprylyl Ether, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate. Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon-12, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Lauryl PEG.PPG-18/18 Methicone, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Methylparaben, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Disodium EDTA, Dodecene, Poloxamer




Just remembered, I forgot to post my standard negative review haiku.

Were I looking for
Greasy skin and alcohol
I’d go to a prom