Monthly Empties

April 2017 Empties Part 1

950F1CE5-E622-40CA-BD97-D7CD1E821421.jpgI have a mild shopping problem, especially when it comes to skincare and makeup. I hoard samples and backups. It’s not great. In an effort to curb my rampant consumerism, and get through as much of my backlog of product as possible, I will be posting my monthly empties and giving mini reviews. I had so many empties this month (thank God) that I’m splititng it up in two posts. Let’s have at it!

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I got this deluxe sample of Chuda’s Healing Hydrating Cream from a GlossyBox* (I’m no longer subscribed, but I do recommend it!). It’s a very gentle and very, very thick balm. I hesitate to call it a cream since it’s texture is closer to that of cold coconut oil or shea butter. I had a cold last month/early this month and it saved my dry, chapped skin around my nose. This stuff is GREAT for sensitive skin.

Would I buy it again? At $150 for 50 ml? No. But I would recommend this to people who have the budget for it and have ultra sensitive and dry skin.

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My old hair stylist gave me this bottle of Moroccanoil Moroccanoil Treatment. LBR, there’s a reason why everyone and their mom has this shit. It’s pretty great. Yes, you can buy pure argan oil for a whole lot less, but a lot of people do really well with some silicones in their hair products. It smells great, it feels indulgent. That said…

Would I buy it again? No. I prefer straight oils in my hair. My hair doesn’t necessarily dislike silicones but it does better without them. I used to co-wash and only went back to shampoo because It’s so hard to find products that I like that don’t cause build up. I still very rarely shampoo and still try to avoid silicones. Considering my hair does better with straight argan oil I’m going to forever pass on delicious smelling MoroccanOil.

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I got this hand cream from Lush as a secret Santa gift two Christmases ago. This may be sacrilege but I kind of hate Lush. They are drowning in the naturalistic fallacy and their stores smell so strongly and their sales associates are so, so much. Also, this hand cream kind of sucked as a hand cream? Apparently, it’s supposed to be “lightening and brightening,” if it’s ingredients can really do that it should probably also have a sunscreen warning on it…It’s also not very moisturizing. I actually felt like it dried out my hands. It smells really good though!

Would I buy it again? No.

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The Ordinary’s hyaluronic acid serum has taken the Internet by storm. I was SHOCKED when I saw the price ($6.80) and bought it, along with a mess of other stuff, when I first heard about the brand. It’s a decent hyaluronic acid serum, and if it had been the first ever hyaluronic serum I had used I might be in love with it. There are formulas out there I like more (I know it’s controversial, but I like Glossier’s formula as a hydrator more than this one). This one felt a little sticky and did not feel as hydrating as I am used to from a hyaluronic acid serum. It kind of just felt like I was just adding an unnecessary step to my skincare routine.

Would I buy it again? Probably not. Look, if I were desperate for a hyaluronic acid serum and I needed to spend $6 to get free shipping from The Ordinary or Beautylish I would definitely consider buying this. BUT I can get Hylamide’s serum (a brand from the same parent company as The Ordinary) from the CVS down the street from me, and I like their formula more.

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Coola’s Daydream Mineral Primer SPF 30 came in my Sephora Sun Safety Kit. Look, if I bought this looking for a primer I’d be PISSED. This is a god damn basic ass physical sunscreen. I don’t use primer, well, I guess you could say that I use my physical sunscreen as a primer, but if you need primer to deal with texture issues THIS IS NOT THE PRODUCT YOUA RE LOOKING FOR. Let me repeat, THIS IS A FUCKING SUNSCREEN. It’s not terrible as a sunscreen, it’s not my favorite sunscreen ever but I didn’t hate it. After a couple of hours of wear, it felt a little drying but the texture upon first application is very smooth and it did not take too much rubbing to get rid of the white cast. However, the last bit of product I squeezed out of this tube was separated and pilled like crazy. I had this tube for less than a month and it already was separating and getting disgusting? Not cool. This is why we put parabens in products you guys.

Would I buy it again? Nah, there are better sunscreens out there.

*affiliate link

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Things I Love to Watch

Things I Love (to Watch) Trash 4Ever Edition

I am so good at TV. I’m so good at trash TV. Here’s what I’ve been loving lately.

Logo’s I’m a Stripper is a God damn gem. It’s available on AmazonPrime and will haunt you forever. I highly recommend the first episode and the Boylesque episode. Wrap yourself in the tanned and roid rage filled bodies of frightening strippers. Enjoy the intelligent insights from the burlesque dancers (James and the Giant Pasty, I love you). Revel in the wide spectrum that is sexuality. Wonder what year it was filmed in because who wears True Religion jeans anymore? Be shocked when you Google the answer.

A&E’s Escaping Polygamy is surprisingly inspirational and I hesitate to qualify it as trash, but lbr, it’s a reality show about pretty ex-Mormons. It is a legitimately moving show and the episodes about trying to get people’s parents out of the cult have forced out a tear or two. The women who star in this show are testaments to the fact that females are strong as hell. When I found out that A&E was premiering Leah Remini’s Scientology show I was hoping for a Scientology version of this and was a little disappointed (but I still watched every episode!). I have so many questions about the production of Escaping Polygamy. How much is real? What is staged? How do we get these ladies federal funding to continue the good work that they do? At what point after leaving a polygamist cult do you find a good hair stylist and do away with the crunchy curls? Can we execute all men?

Lifetime’s My Crazy Ex is one of the worst TV shows I have ever seen, but I love it and watched every episode. Absolutely everything about this show is fake. It’s like a really, really funny version of the latest season of American Horror Story. The stories are predictable (of course that guy was dating that gal because he wanted to have sex with her car) and the puns are horrific. I want this show played on a loop on my gravestone when I die. If I were a Make a Wish kid my wish would be to spend a day in the writer’s room for this show. Please Lifetime, never cancel this absolute gem.

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Things I Love to Put on My Face

Things I Love (to Put on My Face) Sephora Spring 2017 Sale Edition

It feels really gross that every beauty guru and blog is picking out what you should buy at Sephora during the Beauty Insider sale. Have we all stooped so low and are willingly providing free advertising in celebration of a measly 15% off?

That said, here’s my post on the sale.

Don’t buy something unless you need it. For the most part, my general rule is: don’t buy something on sale that you wouldn’t buy full price. So I am making two very conscious purchases during this sale and nothing else.

This Surratt Beauty eyeliner is shockingly expensive, but it’s refillable and the cartridges are only $18. After I left my big girl job I was on the hunt for a less expensive version of the Stila Stay All Day Liner (I love you Stila) and, guess what, all the drug store versions suck balls. NYX repeatedly has let me down. Elf is a joke. I used L’oreal’s in high school. In came Surratt Beauty. Their cartridges are less expensive than Stila’s single-use pens. Which means I am creating less waste with my makeup and saving money. Buying this during the sale because it’s a one time purchase and I might as well make the most of it, yeah? I haven’t actually tried it yet, it’s online only, but Katie Jane Hughes says it’s the best. Who needs to try something before you buy it?

This Belif Moisturizer is a cult favorite for a good reason. I first heard about it on Stephanie Nicole’s Channel (my favorite youtuber). I had used the aqua bomb before and was not that big of a fan, I have really dry skin, you guys (have I mentioned that before?), so the moisturizing bomb was really intriguing. Well, I have blown my way through ever sample that Sephora could give me while I tried to clean out my moisturizer stash and I have fallen in love. By the time the sale starts I’ll be able to justify buying a new moisturizer.

And that’s it. Don’t buy stuff because I’m buying it. Buy some face wash and use your discount because you’re out of facewash. Buy a new red lipstick because you’re almost out of your regular red lipstick. Chill out. You don’t need another eye palette filled with neutrals. You definitely don’t need more contouring products.

 

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Things I Love to Wear

Things I Love (to Wear) JEWELRY. It’s a Thing.

Jewelry! Honestly, I hardly wear it (save for a few rings and a gold bracelet) but there’s nothing better to elevate a daily uniform of t-shirt and jeans.

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This pendant necklace from MG Stilwaggon Designs is bad ass. Full disclosure, MG was my roommate in college and I absolutely adore her. She’s an incredibly talented artist and jewelry is like mini pieces of art at that you can wear. Buy some art! It’s an investment.

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I didn’t know that I needed a giant ass cocktail ring until I saw this giant ass cocktail ring from Stellarium Jewelry. You guys! It has metaphysical properties! Perhaps I am drawn to it because my boyfriend is a Pisces and I’m getting over a sore throat? Maybe I just like giant shiny things. For all you Baltimoreans, Stellarium Jewelry can also be found at Milk & Ice in Hampden (where you can find FUCKING BOLO TIES. BOLO TIES FOREVER).

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I may be totally against feet and feet adjacent jewelry, but this anklet is alright. Like, I love Double Indemnity so how against anklets can I really be? Besides the only time I took a real hard stance against foot jewelry was when my mother told me she wanted a toe ring. Who wants their mother wearing a toe ring? Speaking of moms though, something about this anklet paired with a Birkenstock just screams sexy Brooklyn Mom to me and, you know what? I’m okay with that.

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Things I Love to Put on My Face

Things I Love (to Put on My Face) Vitamin C Edition

Basically, every skincare guru recommends Vitamin C, and with good reason. It is an amazing antioxidant, it helps with collagen production, it helps with sun protection, it lightens, it brightens, it’s a god damn superstar. Typically when some skincare junkie is talking about Vitamin C they mean L-Ascorbic Acid. Nearly every DIY Vitamin C serum is made with it. While L-Ascorbic Acid has all of the amazing benefits of Vitamin C it is not very shelf stable and is quick to oxidize. Many, many people recommend keeping serums with L-Ascorbic Acid in the fridge. There are stable formulations on the market, The Ordinary and Clinique both have some, but they are not super user-friendly. If you’re a lazy gal on a quest for good skin it’s best to look outside the world of L-Ascorbic Acid, because sometimes it’s best to just throw something on your face and go. Here’s an excellent primer on some of the different types of Vitamin C available, so you’re not just taking my word for it.

Mad Hippie’s serum, made with Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, might be my favorite Vitamin C serum that I have tried. Out of all the serums I have used it is the best at fading acne marks. There is some evidence that Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate prevents acne, so for those of you who want the antiaging and antioxidant benefits of vitamin c but also struggle with acne, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate might be the derivative for you.

Glossier’s Super Glow is a great way to enter the world of Vitamin C. It’s made with Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate. AAP is a newer derivative of VitC. It’s incredibly stable and inhibits melanin production, which means it prevents age spots, melasma, etc. Glossier’s formula is very popular but I’m not the biggest fan. It’s super watery and I’m too messy and too sleepy to deal with that shit in the morning. It is effective, but I’m to me to use it.

I am currently using the Ordinary’s Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate in my AM routine. I have incredibly dry skin so a VitC derivative in an oil formula is enticing. I have been using this formulation since mid-February. Deciem/The Ordinary is very upfront about derivatives not being as potent at ascorbic acid but I am a little disappointed in this serum’s performance. Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate is a derivative I have not used before, but like other derivatives, it is heralded for its stability and brightening abilities. Unfortunately, I noticed no difference in my skin’s “brightness” and it made zero difference on my red spots (and let me tell you, skipping washing my face after St. Patricks’ day was a bad idea, and this serum was given a lot to work with). I do like the fact that it is a light oil-based serum, my dry skin loved it. It smells like cleaning supplies and I actually have to be really careful about applying it near my nose because the smell is too much.

This week I started a sample of Biossance’s Squalane and Vitamin C and Rose Oil at the end of my PM routine. It uses Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, a derivative that is frequently found in high-end face oils with vitamin c (like Kypris’ 1,000 Roses). This is less of a vitamin c product and more of a fancy indulgent face oil that makes you feel good. Since I have started using it I have noticed a stark difference in the PIH on my face, I am not sure if this is just because I am getting vitamin c in my am and pm routine or if it truly does outperform The Ordinary formulation that I am using. Maybe my PIH has just started to fade, really, really fast.  Since Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate appears second to last on the ingredient list I would not recommend this to someone who is actively looking to include Vitamin C in their routine, it’s more of a nice little bonus for this oil.

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Things I Love to Wear

Things I Love (to Wear) RIP Bebe Edition

When I saw on WWD that Bebe would be shutting down its brick and mortar stores to focus on its online business I was shocked. What is a mall without an empty Bebe surrounded by teenage girls laughing at the freakum dresses in the window?

There’s nothing more delightful than a classic Bebe logo tank. It reminds me of summer camp counselors, crunchy curls, cleaning ladies, and babysitters. Get one while you still can!! Nostalgia’s working for us and these tanks are gonna be BIG in a few years. I look forward to going to a bar I’m too old for and seeing art school students covered in body glitter wearing Bebe tanks with platform sneakers and listening to frightening music I do not understand but thoroughly enjoy.

Herve Leger bandage dresses may not be in style anymore, but they always will at Bebe. Where will the Real Housewives of OC buy dresses now? How will that one girl who really loves horses turn it out and surprise everyone with her boobs at prom?

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This is actually just a cute dress that I likeI’m not supposed to buy more clothes but, like, I’m sure they’re going to have some great sales in store. What if I just hopped on over to the mall and bought a dress? NBD.

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Things I Love to Put on My Face

Things I Love (to Put on My Face) Sunny and Bright Edition

I’m a pale, pale lady. I wear lots of sunscreen. Regardless of your melanin status, you should too. I also talk about something that’s not a sunscreen. We could just call this, “things I have actually bought and used in the last few days.”

This Missha sunscreen is the tits. The name, All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk SPF 50+/PA+++ is a little much but that’s okay! It’s a water-resistant mineral sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast. I, unfortunately, had to stop using it because the alcohol in it was way too drying for my winter skin but I’m still keeping it around for when summer humidity hits it in high gear. Also, it’s maybe not FDA approved??? But hey, it’s a great sunscreen!

 Clinique’s been killing it lately*, and this sunscreen is a true testament to that. It has a bunch of the things I like about the aforementioned Missha sunscreen but it’s free of denatured alcohol so it’s less drying. The biggest downside is that it’s $26 for 1 oz (I wish it was more than SPF 30, but I can live with that). Honestly, I will pay a stupid amount of money for a cosmetically elegant mineral sunscreen I can pop in my purse.

I got a sample tube of this Tarte highlighting moisturizer when I ordered my Clinique sunscreen and I am into it. Yes, it’s basically a more glittery/expensive version of the Aveeno day cream I used in high school. But also, body glitter is coming back. This is like the adult version of the glitter sticks you used to be able to buy at Limited Too. While I probably won’t use this as my primary moisturizer, it looks amazing mixed in with my Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint (use this link to get 20% off your first purchase kthanks). It provides a nice healthy “glow from within” and in my mind one can never be too sparkly or too glowy. I’m definitely going to use it as an easy highlight on days where I’m not wearing makeup but I want a little something on my cheeks.

 

*okay, fine, always.

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