Up until the summer, I had been reviewing the products I finished up on a monthly basis, but once I started traveling at the beginning of the summer I had to change my approach a little. It wasn’t practical for me to save up the empty containers and I found that I was too short on time to keep up with the monthly posts, and so instead I just kept a list and made a note when I finished something up. Now that I’ve recently come home, it’s a great time to review some of the products I used up while I was away.
This used to be the lip balm I carried with me in my purse and used on the go, and I had bought it on a whim at Ulta a few months back. It boasts the inclusion of acai berry and apple extracts as well as vitamins C, E, and B5. It has a faint pink tint to it that I don’t actually think translates much on the lips, and a sweet scent that I actually sort of hated. All the same, I used it up and was relieved to be rid of it. In terms of moisture and effectiveness, it’s average.
2. Acure Lemongrass + Moroccan Argan Oil Firming Body Lotion … $9.99 for 8 oz.
While we were road tripping through the American Southwest, my skin became super dry and this is a body lotion that I bought at a health food store to help alleviate the dryness. I liked its price point, and I think there was a little bit of a sale going on. It’s honestly not as strong as I needed at the time, and the other downside is the scent. It has a natural, earthy, herby scent and both my boyfriend and I thought it pretty much smelled like weed. I’m always skeptical about “firming” claims, but I did really like the look of all the ingredients in this and the texture is nice and not too heavy or greasy. I think it’s a decent product and I might try something else similar from Acure in the future, but just not this particular one.
3. Raunsborg Night Cream … 329 DKK, or around $60 USD, for 50 ml
I’m a huge fan of this moisturizer (see ingredients and my full review here), but I was really trying to use this up at the early stages of our traveling because of how heavy the glass jar is. This is a really nice, lightweight-feeling night cream that spreads really easily and makes skin feel plump. Raunsborg products are difficult to buy outside of Denmark, but hopefully their distribution will expand in the future.
4. Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream … $38.20 for 4 oz.
This is a favorite of mine. I had gotten in the habit of using this as a last step in my skincare (appropriate for all areas of my face except for my eyes, as it makes my eyes kind of puffy) as well as on my hands, elbows, shoulders, and whatever dry skin I had as I was getting ready for bed at night. It’s expensive, but you can buy 2-packs at Costco for like $30 I think. It’s incredibly simple in formulation (6 ingredients) but really helped out my skin, particularly noticeable in the drier areas of my face. It feels greasy and heavy, but sinks in overnight. Once I finished this jar I tried to see if I could find a comparable but cheaper balm at drugstores and health food stores, but failed.
5. The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 … $20 for 1.69 oz.
I bought this on the go when I ran out of my moisturizer with SPF, and it had been on my list of things to try from The Body Shop. I quickly found out it was too greasy for my face, though. I have combination skin and the oilier areas of my face just couldn’t handle it. How I ended up using this was as an SPF for my neck, collarbone, and chest area, any of those parts that were going to be exposed to the sun. I liked it for that. It’s still lighter weight than a lot of the physical sunscreens I’ve been using lately, which I tend to put on my arms and legs. It has a really nice orange scent which makes it pleasant to use.
6. Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian Body Cream with Kukui Nut … $13.99 for 6.5 oz.
I bought this body cream after I ran out of the Acure lotion and Egyptian Magic, and hoped it’d help with my dry skin on my body. It did! I have a full review here, but basically this is effective and has a really nice texture. I think I got it on sale for around $10. Personally, I got a little tired of the scent, which is pretty strong – my boyfriend says it smells like donuts. Though the scent does fade somewhat after it’s applied, it’s still noticeable for hours and it made my bedsheets kind of fragranced.
7. Tom’s of Maine long lasting aluminum-free deodorant in Wild Lavender … $4.99
I started reviewing deodorants when I quit antiperspirants and tried to go more natural, and I had to try this stick of Tom’s when it was on sale for like $2 or something crazy like that. It’s probably THE most easily found natural deodorant option on store shelves. Unfortunately, it’s not very good. I used it for at least a month but chucked it before actually finishing it because I couldn’t keep going with it. The wild lavender scent is kind of nice, though.
8. Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner … $12.95 for 6 fl. oz.
In the past year I’ve found I really get along with Andalou Naturals products, and this is the second toner I’ve tried from them. I love this new 1000 Roses line from the brand and enjoyed the toner even more than their Brightening toner. It’s just a nice floral spritz that smells like roses and has a really wonderful ingredients list. Aloe is the first ingredient, and rose distillate, panthenol (vitamin B5), and tocopherol (vitamin E) are the next few ingredients that follow (full list available on their website). It doesn’t feel too heavy or moisturizing, and I don’t think you’d have to have dry/delicate skin in order to enjoy this. Whole Foods puts Andalou products on sale often, so you can buy it for closer to $10 if you look out for that.
9. Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminee Anti-Wrinkle Serum … $62 for 1 oz. or $18.97 at Nordstrom Rack
It looks like this particular product has been discontinued by Caudalie, which probably explains why I found it at Nordstrom Rack for just under $20. I would not have paid full price for this, but at the discounted price it was a decent buy. It has a nice, lightly creamy texture and sinks into skin quickly, but I really didn’t see any big anti-aging results with it. Caudalie has a great reputation, but I’m not terribly impressed by this product and it’s high price tag.
10. Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil … 0.23 oz. deluxe sample / $46 for 1.7 oz
This was a deluxe sample I received as a Sephora perk a while back, maybe a year ago. I used it off and on, and more recently added it to my night cream in order to amp up the moisture when my skin was dry throughout the summer. I have a full review here, and I generally like it for a little moisture boost. I think it’s an oil that just about anyone could use, as it’s not too heavy, sinks into the skin, and I’ve never heard of anyone say it clogs their pores. It’s not a miracle product, though (Tarte’s marketing language for it kind of bothers me), and personally I’d like a little more oomph. It was nice to try the deluxe sample as it was plenty big, and you can find those as Sephora perks or in many of the limited edition sets that Tarte puts out throughout the year.
11. The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream … $20 for 1.7 oz.
It appears I neglected to photograph this one, unfortunately, so above I’m picturing The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Night Cream. The Aloe version is a similar-looking white cream in a pot of the same size, it’s just green instead of pink. I like both the Aloe and the Vitamin E versions and neither of them are particularly specialized, I’d imagine that most folks with moderate skin that isn’t too oily or dry could use them both. The aloe version is a little lighter weight in texture and disappears on skin a little better. Like I’ve mentioned my skin was dry for a lot of the summer, so it wasn’t enough for me at some points. I did start using the Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil in conjunction with the cream, and found I liked it best when I mixed them together in my hand before applying to my face. I think of these two creams from The Body Shop as simple stand-by basics, but not necessarily all-time favorites.
12. Sunny Honey Company beeswax lip balm … $3
I’ve been working on this lip balm for a really long time, and it was fantastic. It’s just a simple, homemade beeswax lip balm made from a Seattle-area honey producer with no funny ingredients in it. I wrote more about it here. It really made me question the higher priced stuff at Sephora, such as the Fresh lip treatments, that look and feel amazing but aren’t as effective at treating the lips.
13. Forest Essentials Facial Tonic Mist … Rs. 650 or around $11 USD
This is a newer purchase that came from India. I wrote more about my India purchases recently, but basically this is a floral toning mist from Forest Essentials, a brand I really fell for and I’m bummed I can’t easily get their products in the US. It smells “Indian” to me – I think it’s the marigold in it. It’s simple and nourishing, has no preservatives or anything else in it besides plant distillates. I go through toner quickly and this was a small bottle (they offer a bigger bottle, too, I think), and it lasted me about 2 months. Good stuff.
I’d like to return to monthly empties, so in another few weeks I’ll talk about the products I used up during the month of October. I hope you had a really nice summer, I’d love to hear what products you discovered over the past few months! Do you have any new favorites?