Sephora

Using Things Up Pt. 2

A few months ago I made it a mission to start using makeup and beauty products up before buying new ones. I’ve been doing fairly well with this. I have definitely slipped up a few times when it comes to makeup, but I would say that I have really stuck with it when it comes to skin care, hair care, and the like. Read on to hear my thoughts about things I’ve finished and if I would buy them again!

Hair Care

Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It (Fine)

This is the product that’s been in my arsenal the longest and the one I was most determined to finish. I bought it almost three years ago because I loved the concept: a hair product that was meant to enhance the texture of your hair and reduce frizziness so it could dry naturally and still look nice. I will say I didn’t really see its benefit until I cut my hair into a pixie cut about six months in to owning it and that was where it really shined. I never blow dried my short hair and this really helped me give it some shape while also helping it look presentable. I am currently working my way through other hair styling products but would consider repurchasing when the time comes. Don’t Blow It now comes in a formula for thick hair, which I would definitely go with next time as I have a LOT of hair, but the original formula served me well!

Vermont Village Apple Cider Vinegar 

In my quest to reduce the amount of plastic in my life, I was on the hunt for a plastic-free hair conditioner. I tried a conditioner bar from LUSH (I absolutely LOVE their shampoo bars) but did not find that it did much in terms of making my hair softer or easier to brush. A few years ago I tried Apple Cider Vinegar as a conditioning rinse and absolutely loved it. As most ACV comes in glass bottles (albeit with plastic caps), I decided to give it another go. WOW WAS MY HAIR SOFT. Also shiny and easy to brush. After finishing this one I bought ACV from Heinz to try out as an alternative and okay my hair was not nearly as good as it was when I was using this one from Vermont Village. Have since repurchased and will continue to do so.

Skin Care

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

Another product I’ve had in my medicine cabinet for while is this lovely facial oil. I am a big fan of Drunk Elephant products and this one was no exception. Very hydrating and felt SO nice going on the skin. Marula Oil is naturally anti-microbial and very soothing so I also loved using it on my underarms and bikini line after shaving to avoid redness and bumps. Would definitely consider repurchasing BUT will probably be going after The Ordinary’s version as it is a fraction of the price ($10 v $72) !!!!!!

Dr Jart+ Tiger Grass Re.Pair Serum

I naturally have a very pink complexion. Redness abounds on the bridge of my nose and cheeks no matter what I do. That was why the Dr Jart+ Cicapair line really intrigued me as it was completely dedicated to lessening redness in the face. There are a few products in the line and I also have the Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment, but this is the only one that I’ve used up completely. While a very nice serum, unfortunately I can’t say that I noticed any reduction in my redness. Described as “a highly concentrated, fast-acting serum that soothes skin sensitivity while calming redness and irritation “, I wonder if it would be better suited for someone with acne or a particularly bad sunburn rather than someone whose face is just naturally pink. Was pricey so will probably not repurchase.

L’Oreal Pure Clay Glow Mask 

Love love love this face mask. Have just purchased my third jar. This is made with red clay and is very gritty so it provides excellent exfoliation when you are wash it off. Lovely scent, from the drugstore, and as a bonus it comes in a glass jar (with a plastic cap but still an improvement for the drugstore). Cannot recommend this mask enough and it is currently the only one I use. My dry skin feels so smooth and soft after I use it. There are two other masks in the Pure Clay range so you should be able to find something no matter your skin type!

Nuxe Reve De Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm

This is a French pharmacy cult classic so I couldn’t wait to give it a go when I saw it my local Boots while living in London. I picked up the famous jar version as well as it in stick form for on-the-go applications. Nothing worse than having to stick your grimy city hands into a jar of pristine lip balm!  This lip balm has a texture unlike any other I have ever used before or since and the smell is absolutely DIVINE. Slightly lemony. It was also a pretty matte-looking formula, which is very interesting for a lip balm but I enjoyed it because although it was more matte, it wasn’t drying at all. I always felt v French and chic when I was putting it on before bed. Because it is a little harder to get in the U.S. and I have since fallen in love with the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, I don’t think I will repurchase the jar. Although the stick version was slightly different (less thick and better for the day), I would consider picking it up again to keep in my bag because it was super soothing and easy to apply.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II Serum

An absolute CLASSIC in the beauty world, I was very excited to try this serum when my friend gave me a cute little sample size of it. Described as “a powerful nighttime renewal serum for radiant, youthful-looking skin; with instant luminosity and hydration”, I unfortunately wasn’t too impressed with it. Like all serums, it feels so nice going on but I didn’t notice any instant hydration or glowy-ness. I know that this is a product that I would need to use long-term in order to really see results, but unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be buying the full-size (something my wallet is happy about as a 50mL bottle comes in at whooping $98!).

Makeup

MAC Prep & Prime Fix+

Another cult classic in the beauty industry. Described as “a lightweight mist of water packed with vitamins and minerals, infused with a blend of green tea, chamomile and cucumber to gently soothe and refresh the skin.” I really liked this product. The scent is so good and its nozzle is top-notch. My favorite thing about facial mists is their ability to take a very makeup-y and powdery-looking face and make everything look like skin again. I have dry skin so sometimes makeup just looks heavy on my face and this is where something like Fix+ comes in. It instantly meshes everything together and makes your makeup much less obvious looking. An original in the beauty world, now there are loads of dupes and similar products so I don’t think I’ll be getting this one again. However, if you have been itching to try and just need an excuse to bite the bullet, it is definitely something every beauty fan should try once.

Glossier Boy Brow 

Glossier’s first product was an INSTANT hit when it launched a few years ago and I have to say that the hype is real. This brow gel quickly took top spot against my beloved Benefit Gimme Brow. It just makes your eyebrows look so fluffy and natural while still adding some color and hold. The brush is teeny-tiny and perfect for grabbing all of your eyebrow hairs. It also lasts for ages. I first started using the tube in November and it only fully dried out in May and this is with consistent everyday use. I am currently trying out the new Hourglass eyebrow gel and while it’s very good, I can confidently say that I will be going back to Boy Brow once I finish it up.

Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil 

Sticking with eyebrows (as they are v important to me), I recently used up my favorite eyebrow pencil. I have tried a few (NYX, Anastasia, Bobbi Brown) but this one is by far the best. The point is perfect, the formula is creamy, the color is spot on, and the brush is ace. I would (and have) repurchase but I am currently trying out a brow pomade from Anastasia because 1. It comes in a glass jar and 2. a little goes an extremely long way so I’m hoping that it will be one less piece of plastic I have to constantly bin. Will report back on how that is going, but the Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil will forever hold a place in my heart.

Tarte Colored Clay CC Under Eye Corrector

My under eye circles and I have a long-standing beef. They are hereditary so no amount of sleep or water makes them go away. I was SO self-conscious of them in college and have gone through so many concealers and color correctors in my effort to hide them. I also have the added benefit of my under eye area being very dry, so most concealers would look so patchy and awful. There is only one concealer I have purchased more than once and this one is it. I first used it about two years ago and really loved it, but still wanted more coverage. Recently I have decided to comes to terms with my under eye darkness as something that looks much better left alone than completely caked in product. I, of course, do like a bit of help, but my focus is more on keeping the area hydrated than completely covering the darkness. The Tarte Colored Clay CC Under Eye Corrector is SO creamy and hydrating and is peach-colored so it does a bit of correcting as well. Have just purchased a second one and I think this will be my under eye concealer for a while!

 

Thanks for reading! Have been hoarding these products in a drawer for the past few months so it will be so good to finally get rid of them!

Using Things Up

Here is my first post about products I’ve used up. Read on to see mini reviews as well as to see if I’d purchase again.

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment

I first discovered this hair conditioner over a year ago when I decided to start the process of growing out my pixie cut. I was living in London and the time so I popped into my local Boots for some hair conditioner. Since then I’ve probably gone through five to six tubs of the stuff. Can I 100% confirm that it’s helped my hair grow – not really because my hair grows exceptionally slow BUT I will say it is one of the best hair conditioners I have ever used. I could feel a difference in the way my hair dried. It felt softer and my waves were more manageable. It also smells so good. Was very pleased to discover that they also sell this brand here in the US at Ulta. I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a really good, heavy-duty conditioner (that could potentially help with hair growth). I would say I would repurchase (again) BUT since I am trying to lessen the amount of plastic I use in my life, I am currently trying out one of the conditioning bars from Lush. Will update when I find something comparable!

RMS “Un” Cover-Up

This product has been a favorite ever since I learned how to actually use it. I first bought it in the Summer of 2016 because I was on the hunt for a good hydrating concealer (when am I not) and this one sounded really nice. I also loved RMS’s ethics and use of glass packaging. I used to be really self conscious about my dark circles. They are hereditary so no amount of sleep or water will make them go away and I used to be so insecure about them. The “Un” Cover-Up concealer has very very minimal coverage. Absolutely not good enough to concealer the darkness under my eyes. It sat in my drawer until about February/March of last year. I read an article where Emma Watson mentioned that she used it as a foundation and so I decided to try it as that as well and WOW SO GOOD. I would use my Real Techniques makeup sponge to apply and it was like a dewy dream. Provided enough coverage to help tone down some of the everpresent redness in my face and take the edge off of my dark circles, which I started to embrace. Coconut oil is the base so my dry skin loved it. Am currently using Glossier’s Stretch Concealer. This is has even less coverage, but is still good for light makeup days (something I find myself going for on a regular basis). Can’t use it as foundation exactly but it is nice. It is also less than half the price of the RMS one. That is the one thing holding me back from saying I would definitely repurchase the “Un” Cover Up – it’s $40. I won’t need to think about repurchasing for a while as I have a few other concealers I want to use up so I have a while to weigh my options!

Weleda Skin Food

So so so good. This moisturizer is my dry skin dream. I first picked it up over the summer when I had a random reaction to a moisturizer I was using. I decided to go more natural with some of my skin products and have heard about this through the blogosphere grapevine. This stuff is THICK and lasts forever. I think one tube of this $19 cream lasted me six months, maybe more. It’s also a multi-use product because you can put it anywhere you have dry skin – arms, elbows, feet, etc. I’ve also used it as a makeup primer when my skin was feeling extra dry. Have just repurchased and plan to continue doing so because you can’t beat the price for such a good, effective, clean product. It also comes in a metal tube, which is helping me towards my goal of living with less plastic. The cap is plastic, but because of how long a single tube lasts me, I’m hoping it evens out waste wise compared to other plastic products that I would go through quite quickly.

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Contour Powder

This is a cult classic for a reason. The powder is so finely milled and soft that it is a dream to blend in. I used the shade Light and it was such a beautiful contour shade. Had been going back and forth for a while on whether to purchase but when my friend Sabrina from Interestina mentioned how much she loved hers I went out ASAP and picked one up. While I had to go to literally THREE different Space NKs to find the Light shade – it was well worth the blisters I go from walking across London trying to find this thing. The shade is very subtle and has the perfect tone for contouring. I AM wondering if I would go for the Medium shade next time though because I do love a bit of contour and feel like I may be able to get more bang for my buck. I think I went through it in about nine months. Not too bad considering I was using it almost everyday as both my contour product and my eyeshadow, although the powder did break up a bunch, causing me to lose some of it. I think I will repurchase once I’ve gone through all of my other contours/bronzers!

#ProjectPan

When I came home from London for Christmas break last year, I realized just how many makeup and beauty products I had. When I moved to London, I could only take what I could fit into a suitcase or two, so I chose the cream of the crop and fit all of my makeup into a medium-sized toiletries bag. When I came home for the first time four months after living with just the products I had originally brought with me, I decided I  seriously needed to minimize my at-home stash.

Enter Project Pan.

Project Pan is a project created online by fellow beauty enthusiasts who found themselves with too much makeup. Traditionally with the project you choose ten (or however many you want to do) beauty items you own to use up in their entirety before you buy any other beauty products. I’ve tweaked this a bit to where I am not choosing a specific number of products (I essentially want to use up ALL of my makeup) and once I do finish something, I grab its replacement out of the drawer in my room instead of buying something new.

I have loved beauty and makeup products since I was little. Since discovering Youtube and beauty vloggers a few years ago, my collection had grown embarrassingly large. I don’t wear a lot of makeup – there was no way I could finish those products in this lifetime. After clearing out my collection, I decided to do something I think I had only done a handful of times since I started wearing makeup: I was going to finish a product before I bought a new one. In this consumer driven world (and thanks largely to the Youtube beauty community), we are encouraged to have way more products than we could ever need. The hype surrounding a new lipstick or mascara makes you want to try it yourself and add it to your own collection.

Now I challenge myself to completely use up a product before moving on to the next one. I have three backup bronzers patiently waiting their turn for when I finish up the one I’m currently using and I shouldn’t need to buy another lipstick for at least five years. I want to focus on minimizing most things in my life and this one I’ve been doing fairly well with. My goal to produce less waste will be helped through this challenge and my resolution to use less plastic will be helped as well as I will have time to thoroughly research the best glass-packaged products to replace the plastic housed ones I finish.

I still love makeup and watch beauty vloggers on the regular, but I can appreciate it differently now. I no longer feel the need to run to the nearest Sephora and buy that lipstick or eyeshadow just because someone’s using it in a tutorial that I like. It’s also strangely satisfying to use a product up in its entirety!

Everyday Makeup

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Hello loves! So today I’ll be talking about what you can find in my everyday makeup bag. I don’t know about all of you, but I absolutely love peeking into other people’s makeup bags. I love seeing what they love and what works for them. Recently I’ve been really happy with the contents of my own makeup bag – I’ve finally found my HG foundation and I don’t think I’ll be changing my eyebrow products for a VERY long time!

I usually go for a pretty simple look and these products have become my staples. I’ll review them in order of how I apply them to my face – happy reading!

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