For 2014 I’ve started keeping track of the products I use up each month, and throughout March I finished a mix of skincare, cosmetics, body and hair care products. Keeping track helps me keep focused on using stuff up rather than just hoarding half-used containers, and it gives me the opportunity to say a few words about stuff that might have otherwise passed by without a full review.
First up is a mascara that I happened to find in a bargain bin at Bed Bath and Beyond. The discount was just a temporary thing and it’s back on the shelves now, but it convinced me to give this fiber extensions mascara a try for the first time. I started out liking it but not necessarily loving it, as I usually enjoy a bit more volume than it could give, but the more I used it the more I appreciated it. It reliably gave me very long, defined, lifted, black lashes, and was perfect for the days when I wasn’t necessarily wearing lots of eyeshadow and liner. I’d repurchase it in the future.
2. Maybelline Color Whisper lip color in Coral Ambition … $7.49
I’ve used this quite a bit, but I haven’t actually used this one up and I’m deciding to lay it to rest. As much as I enjoy the Color Whispers (I have 2 others), this shade just doesn’t look great on me without a little work. I have naturally pigmented and red-toned lips, and this is a lighter shade that kind of clashes with my natural coloring. I might give the orange shade (Orange Attitude, I think) a try instead, as it looks like a deeper shade.
3. Yes to Carrots Nourishing Fragrance-Free Gentle Cleansing Wipes … $5.99 for 25 towelettes
These are fragrance-free towelettes advertised for normal to dry skin, and are a relatively new release from the ‘Yes to’ brand. I tried them on a whim when I saw them in a display at Target with a coupon stuck on the package. I really like these, and would definitely repurchase. They’re 96% natural, include vitamin E, and are free of alcohol, SLS, and parabens, The package has a nice plastic lid, though I did find the first two or so sheets in it were a little dry. After I got through the top layer, it was smooth sailing.
4. Seventh Generation Facial Cleansing Cloths in Mandarin … $5.99 for 30 towelettes
I found these at Target at some point and had to try them because I only very recently started seeing skin and body care products from Seventh Generation appear on store shelves. So, these were the first products from the brand that I’ve tried, and I like these. They’re made with 100% plant-based cleansers and the fragrance comes from essential oils and botanical extracts. There are two scents, lavender and mandarin, and I tried the mandarin which I ended up absolutely hating, so when I repurchase I will try the lavender out. There was something kind of earthy rather than citrusy about the mandarin scent, and it just hit me the wrong way. Whether I continue to buy these in an ongoing manner will depend on how I feel about the lavender scent, but the towelettes themselves are great.
5. Maybelline Baby Lips in Yummy Plummy … $3.99
Lots of Maybelline products in here, huh? I really enjoy the Baby Lips balms, and this one ended up finding a home on my nightstand until it was completely cleaned out. Yummy Plummy isn’t a permanent shade (I bought it some time last year) but I’m not really mourning the loss of it. Maybelline offers lots of fun shades, both permanent and limited edition, and I already own maybe 3 others. I may get another purple one to replace it.
6. Fekkai Advanced Brilliant Glossing Shampoo … $20 for 8 oz.
This is a Sample Society subscription box deluxe sample bottle and the first Fekkai product I’ve ever tried. It was ok, but I see no reason to go and spend $20 on it. It’s heavy in SLS (second only to water on the ingredients list), so it’s not really the kind of thing I’m in the market to purchase anyway. The bottle boasts that it has some olive oil in there, and I do think it did it’s job as a “glossing shampoo”.
I discovered this toner when I was vacationing in Copenhagen, and loved it so much that I listed it on my 10 standout products of 2013 list. Raunsborg later sent me some additional products to try out and kindly provided me with another bottle of the toner which I’ve now used up. I can’t currently purchase this in the US (fingers crossed that I’ll eventually be able to) but I would if I could. I found it to be nourishing and moisturizing, and it includes lactic acid for gentle exfoliation. It’s alcohol-free, has some nice plant-based ingredients, and smells like birch.
8. Almay Oil-Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover … $5.99 for 4 oz.
I bought this with a coupon for Almay makeup remover months ago, but this took me forever to use up because I couldn’t stand it. It wasn’t particularly effective and it seriously stung my eyes, but I was able to use it very slowly because it could wipe away swatches on my arm or spot-correct makeup mistakes. Usually I’m pretty easy to please with these sorts of products, but I’ll stay away from this one in the future.
9. Murad Advanced Active Radiance Serum … $89 for 1 oz.
This is another Sample Society subscription box sample. They gave me a sample of both the Murad Active Radiance Serum and the Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel (both products boast high levels of vitamin C), and I have to say I like the peel much better than the serum. The serum claims that it can improve brightness, clarity and radiance by 60% in less than one week. I used it for about 3 weeks and didn’t see much of a difference, but it stung my skin every time I used it. If you’re looking for a vitamin C serum, I prefer the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, which I found effective and is also half the price.
10. Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate … $83 for 0.5 oz.
This eye cream was a gift with purchase from Clarins back in the fall that I stashed away until I was ready to regularly devote a spot for it in my skincare routine to test its abilities. I really liked this as the texture was good, the fragrance wasn’t overwhelming (as can be the case with some Clarins products), and it moisturized without making overlaying makeup crease or wear down throughout the day. On the other hand, it wasn’t magic, I didn’t really see a difference in fine lines, and it’s kind of ridiculously expensive. It might have helped with puffiness, but there are cheaper options out that I like and I wouldn’t pay $83 for this.
11. Trader Joe’s Tahitian Paradise Brown Sugar Body Scrub … $8.99 for a trio of scrubs
Trader Joe’s sells a trio of body scrubs for $8.99, which is a great price. All three have different scents and types of scrubbers in there, and I wanted to limit myself to using one at a time so I’m not hoarding half-used jars. This brown sugar scrub includes pumpkin seed, avocado, and apricot kernel oils, as well as green tea extract. It definitely has good a good amount of sugar, but I found the oils to be really, really strong. As in, they kind of made my skin feel like it was coated in serious residue. So, I liked it ok and I’m looking forward to trying the other two to see if they are similar or perhaps better.
Did you finish up any awesome products this month?