November Empties!

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This month has flown by for me, despite being full of rain, more rain only heavier, below freezing temperatures and even some snow, which is thankfully rare in Vancouver. I don’t like being so busy that I can’t post, and it’s been far too long. Long enough to have lots of empties! Plus one item that is not used up but was so bad it needs to go!

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November Empties!

Numbered clockwise starting on the left.

1) Yves Rocher Yellow Peach Shower Gel

This was a pretty standard liquid soap/shower gel with a peachy fragrance. The peach scent was fresh and not overly ripe, but a little powdery which bothered me enough to not want to repurchase. The bottle was a generous 400ml/13.4 oz.

2) Aussie You Can Shine Hairspray

This was decent enough hairspray, it did it’s job. Had a nice citrusy fruity smell. I didn’t notice any stickiness or crispness. I would repurchase this if I found it on sale, which is how I found this can!

3) Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti Frizz Serum

Although most silicone serums for frizzy hair are mostly the same, this is one of my favourites. It has a nice fruity scent standard for any Fructis product, and has a thinner, easier to spread consistency which helps when you have super long, super fine hair like mine. The pump is also a winner. This is my second or third bottle of this and I will continue to rebuy until I can’t find it anymore!

4) Avon Moisture Therapy Calming Relief Creamy Body Wash

Although I would also recommend this for a body wash, I use it on my face! It removes makeup really well, does not irritate, and doesn’t leave any residue. If you have really dry skin I wouldn’t recommend use on your face but it does a great job on my oily skin! Contains oatmeal to soothe dry, tight, itchy skin. Been through many tubes of this!

5) Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Sampler

Now this one isn’t so much empty as it is impossible to use. The little patches of eye shadow sample were so dry and stuck on that application was impossible. I made the mistake of trying to make this work on a work day and had to scrap it mid way through. I’m sure the actual product is easier to use than this sample, but this sample has made me never want to try the real thing it was so bad. Complete failure in execution. Below is a picture of the tiny amount I managed to scrape off the card.

Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Sample

Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Sample

6) Neutrogena Acne Stress Control – 3 in 1 Hydrating Acne Treatment

I wouldn’t really call this hydrating so much as it is smoothing, and I can’t even comment on the stress control claim! The silicone base makes your skin feel soft and smooth, while being at the right ph level for the salicylic acid to do it’s work. If I stop using this for a few days, I can feel and see the negative effect in my skin, getting flakier with more clogged pores. I will buy this as long as I can find it in Canada, as there is no other affordable, gentle, effective salicylic acid leave on treatment option that I am aware of in the country. Clean & Clear has a version of something similar which is only available in the US, and everything else I can find here has alcohol and other irritants in it.

7) NYC Color in a New York Minute – Grand Central Station

How often is it you finish a bottle of nail polish before it goes all weird on you? This isn’t my first finished bottle of the fast drying NYC clear coat, and certainly not my last. I will buy this as long as I can still find it in Canada. Currently I have to purchase it online to find it at all! Fantastic product. Did a full review here.

8) Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait

I usually reach for pinks and reds, but somehow this peachy lip butter with tiny golden flecks has managed to work itself in many daily looks! It complements both warm and cooler eye looks and doesn;t look garish under fluorescent lighting. It has well earned it’s place as a daily favourite. Will I buy again? Absolutely, just waiting for a sale! The are otherwise around $10 in Canada.

9) L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara – Black

It may have been in blackest black or carbon black, I don’t remember, but it was, and is, a great mascara! This is the closest in formulation and brush as my long discontinued in Canada old favourite Full n’ Soft Mascara. It doesn’t clump too much, it holds a curl better than some, doesn’t flake (until you get to the end of the lifespan of the tube) and is perfectly waterproof without being too much of a pain to wash off. I will continue buying this when found on sale as long as it’s being made!

Hope everyone had a good November and you’re staying warm! Or cool if you’re one of my Aussie readers!

 

 

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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!

Grey Gradient NOTD!

Greydient Greys!

Greydient Greys!

I talked myself out of naming this post “Graydient” NOTD. I’m a bit surprised I’ve never tried this before! Used for today’s nails: OPI Black Onyx, Yves Rocher mini Grix Precieux, L’Oreal Greycian Goddess, Rimmel 60 Seconds Grey Matter and a mini Markwins white polish intended for french manicures. The two mid greys looked closer in shade on camera than they did in person, and I had to use flash to bring out the dark grey in the Yves Rocher shade which dried considerably darker than the bottle colour, but overall I did like the effect! Photos in different lights!

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I made it a day before putting on a coat of Revlon Graffiti top coat, I like this too! I think I will be doing more of these!

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

Yves Rocher Rouge Grenadine Nail Lacquer & Grand Rouge Lipstick

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge Lipstick & Nail Lacquer

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge Lipstick & Nail Lacquer

It’s not often I’ll order from Yves Rocher. I’m turned off by the frequent discontinuation of products and junk mail. They used to have a foundation I loved (Teint Fluide Effet Seconde Peau/Second Skin Effect Foundation), and would buy it forever but of course – discontinued. Rarely I will get an email with free shipping on a $15-20 order, and if the “free gift” is good that week I will try a couple of things. Sometimes I get something amazing, and the items I’m reviewing and swatching today are one of those lucky finds!

These 2 lovelies came together as a bundled free gift with purchase: Yves Rocher Nail Lacquer in Rouge Grenadine 31 (a grenadine/pomegranate red also labeled in french as Vernis Brillance) and Yves Rocher Grand Rouge in Rouge Vif 31 (Bright Red).

Starting with the nail polish. The bottle is less than half the size of your average nail polish at 5.5 mls. I was initially disappointed by that, thinking I would get less uses out of it, however the first thing I noticed during application is that it was near perfect coverage at only one coat! The colour is an amazing brightening true red. I have all kinds of red polish and never has one popped so much against my skin tone. The formula is smooth, highly pigmented, spreads out beautifully over the nail and dries glossy without a topcoat. Drying time is about average. Overall I’m super impressed by the quality of this formula and would try it again gladly. This has quickly become my favourite red! Only downsides are that the bottle is smaller than average, is a tall, skinny shape making it more prone to tip over, and the brush holds a deceptively large amount of product even after brushing it off making application slightly sloppier. None of these are deal breakers for a formula this good. The product swatch on Yves Rocher’s website shows this shade to have a golden shimmer, but it does not. This is a creme. Their website claims the addition of “Elemi Gum” helps the product last longer, which I can’t substantiate one way or the other! It does wear well though.

Yves Rocher Rouge Grenadine Nail Lacquer

Yves Rocher Rouge Grenadine Nail Lacquer

Yves Rocher Rouge Grenadine Nail Lacquer

Yves Rocher Rouge Grenadine Nail Lacquer

On to the lipstick! It is full size at 3.7g or 0.13 oz and in a pretty golden shiny tube. The top is angled so I can’t store it upside down. I like to see the labels to find things faster. The formula of this lipstick is as good as it’s nail polish counter part! It is a rich cream formula with no shimmer, goes on smoothly, easily buildable with very intense pigment. The finish isn’t glossy, probably closer to satin. If blotted this could easily be matte. The red is a true red, leaning slightly blue based in natural light and orange based in indoor lighting (just like the polish). It feels luxurious on the lips and isn’t drying. As it wears off, it does so evenly with no patchiness. The pigment is so potent and smooth I’ve found I can dab on a small amount with some gloss for a more subtle yet still colourful look. This isn’t long wearing by any means, although their website claims it to be so. It wears as well as any regular lipstick, but I’d put the feel of the formula up with higher end ones. The formula boasts Camelia Oil, Vitamine E and Organic Sesame Oil for moisturization. It has a lightly sweet scent that reminds me a little of marshmallows, this fades quickly.

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge, Rouge Vif (Bright Red)

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge, Rouge Vif (Bright Red)

 

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge, Rouge Vif (bright Red) Swatch in shade

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge, Rouge Vif (Bright Red) Swatch in shade

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge, Rouge Vif (bright Red) Swatch in Sun

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge, Rouge Vif (Bright Red) Swatch in Sun

 

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge, Rouge Vif (bright Red)

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge, Rouge Vif (Bright Red)

 

 

Overall I love the formula and intense pigmentation of both these products. I would gladly try other shades in either line, especially if they’re on offer as a free gift with purchase again!

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge, Rouge Vif (bright Red)

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge, Rouge Vif (bright Red)

Yves Rocher Rouge Grenadine Nail Lacquer

Yves Rocher Rouge Grenadine Nail Lacquer