Bath & Body | Skincare

New year, new series: monthly empties!

January 31, 2014
Empties for January, 2014
Empties for January, 2014

I always enjoy reading about the products other people use up, and I’ve decided to start recording my own finished products. By documenting them monthly, I’ll be able to keep the list from getting too long and it’ll give me a chance to talk about some of the products that might otherwise slip by without a review. Through the month of January I finished up a mix of skincare, bath and body products and want to offer some thoughts on how they worked for me before I dispose of their remains.

1. The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Polynesia Lotus & Frangipani Bathing Milk … $18 for 8.4 fl. oz.

[Blue bottle on top] I always look out for moisturizing bath products, and I bought this during one of The Body Shop’s sale events because the word ‘milk’ made me think it would be hydrating. It was really just a fancy bubble bath, though. It had a beautiful floral scent – frangipani, or plumeria, are very fragrant tropical flowers that are popular for lei-making. I wouldn’t repurchase this because I really want something that’s moisturizing and I couldn’t really care less whether the product has a nice froth or not, but if that’s something you look for then maybe take a whiff of this one the next time you visit a Body Shop. It’s expensive, but they offer frequent sales and are currently taking 40% off site-wide, which brings it down to $10.80.

2. The Body Shop Coconut Beautifying Oil … $14 for 3.3 fl. oz. (full review)

[Yellow bottle on the left] Although this bottle doesn’t look too big, a little goes a long way with this oil and I held on to it for about 4 1/2 months. It’s totally great, it’s pretty lightweight and sinks into skin relatively quickly, and a little squirt of it added to bathwater is fantastic for dry skin. I’d definitely repurchase this, but I’d probably just go for a different scent. Over time I got pretty tired of the sweet coconut. But overall I think this is a great thing to keep in my bathroom stash!

3. LUSH Bûche de Noël facial cleanser … $12.95 for 3.5 oz. (full review)

[Black pot on the left] This is a holiday release from LUSH, and I like it but went through it kind of quickly. I’m not sure if I’d buy this again during the holiday season. It’s a lot like their permanent offering, Angels on Bare Skin (review), but I enjoy the gentle lavender scent of Angels more. Bûche includes dried cranberries, fresh satsumas, and a little bit of brandy, plus some ground almonds for gentle exfoliation.

4. Olay Fresh Effects Refreshing Makeup Removal Cloths … $4.99 for 20 cloths

[white package on the bottom] It seems that lots of major drugstore brands are coming out with alcohol-free cleansing towelettes these days, and I’ve been trying to grab new ones to try whenever I spot some on sale. I liked these alright, but they’re nothing to write home about. I actually find the formula to be a little slippery, making gripping and wiping the towelettes against skin strangely difficult. It doesn’t leave a greasy residue, though.

5. Rainbow Natural Remedies Borage Oil Supplements … $11 for 30 softgels

[Middle] Rainbow Natural Remedies is the house brand of a local natural health store here in Seattle. If you’re in the area, visit them in Capitol Hill – it’s a great store with really helpful staff. I started out popping the softgels and applying the oil topically as a facial moisturizer and absolutely loved it, but after some time I wanted to start testing out some creams and put them aside. Eventually, I decided to start taking the remaining pills orally because I’ve read that both oral and topical methods are effective for reaping the benefits of borage oil. I would repurchase these, as Rainbow’s oil seemed to be good quality and had no off smells or anything like that, but I ended up purchasing a bottle of Whole Food’s borage oil instead to see if it was a similar quality.

6. The Body Shop Aloe Protective Serum … $21 for 1.0 fl. oz. (full review)

[White canister on the right] I like the concept of this serum, but the problem for me was that if I didn’t let it sink into my skin for a full five minutes or so it’d sort of pill up when I applied other products on top of it. I wish it wasn’t so finicky, but if you have a very simple skincare and makeup routine then this might work just fine for you. The other issue I had with it is that the 1 oz. canister emptied out sort of quickly, and I had expected my money to go a bit further than it did. Currently The Body Shop’s 40% off web sale brings this down to $12.60, which isn’t bad.

7. Clarins Multi-Active Early Wrinkle Correction Day Cream … $59 for 1.7 fl. oz. (mentioned here)

[White squeeze tube on the top right] I had a deluxe sample of this cream from a gift with purchase, and decided to pull it out this winter since I’d guessed it’d be a bit heavier than what I’d otherwise use. It was indeed heavier and I used this during the day for a week or two before switching to using it at night instead. It’s ok, but there wasn’t any magic for me. I’ve tried out other moisturizers from Clarins that worked better for my skin, and I can confidently say that I won’t be purchasing this one in the future. I had my fingers crossed that this might soften the appearance of my fine lines, but sadly I didn’t notice even the smallest change in my skin.

8. LUSH Eau Roma Toner … $9.95 for 3.3 fl. oz.

[Little black pot on the right] This was a free (but pretty generous) sample that a LUSH sales associate provided for me when I was purchasing some other skincare. I’ve had my eye on this in the past because of how simple the formulation is: it’s mostly just rose water and lavender water, which I know to be gentle and hydrating for skin. I really enjoyed it, and have already purchased a full size bottle which comes with a spray nozzle. I’m mostly using it as a second toner, spritzing my face with it after using a gentle exfoliating toner and letting it air dry on my face.

9. Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment … $56 for 1.0 fl. oz.

[Sample bag on the bottom right] When I was in Sephora a few weeks ago, they were handing out free samples of this brand new product at the register. I’ve actually never tried argan oil before, but I was thrilled with this argan ‘milk’, which is very lightweight and seems to provide an appropriate amount of moisture for my combination skin. The product directions say that it’s meant to be used under the regular Josie Maran argan oil treatment, as opposed to completely replacing it. I almost went out and purchased it the day after using the sample, but the price stopped me. It’s kind of expensive, and the ingredients make it seem like this is basically diluted argan oil. Maybe in the future I’ll pick it up.


Did you finish up any awesome products this month?

    1. Thanks Brianna! Glad you’re enjoying Buche de Noel! Borage oil is moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, offers good fatty acids and is supposed to have some anti-aging benefits. I think at this point it’s my favorite facial oil I’ve tried, and you can also take it orally for more health benefits (which I think is kind of handy).

    1. Hi Tina! I’ve been meaning to try an Aveeno moisturizer, I’ve heard great things. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Lush cleanser when you get a chance to try it!

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