August Empties, Four “Bravos” and Two “Boo’s”

I haven’t done an “empties” post for some time… I guess that’s because I was otherwise busy preparing for, living through, and recovering from my hip replacement surgery.  It’s been 8 weeks since the big operation and I’m feeling lots better these days.  I can even go shopping at more than one store in a day again – hubby is fearful since he’s well aware I’m in need of some serious retail therapy!  Having my hip replaced is truly giving me my life back.  ONWARD to the subject at hand!!

Here are some things I finished recently….

empties1

I finally finished off my Victoria’s Secret body wash in “Amber Romance”,  a bottle of Victoria’s Secret body lotion in “Amber Romance” and a small container of Bath & Body Works “White Citrus” shower gel.  I totally love the Amber Romance scent!  I have several other items in the same scent that will show up on my empties at some point in the future 🙂  White citrus is nice also, but I think of it more of a summer scent.

I also used up a tub of strawberry-banana body butter by some obscure company that I can’t remember – and I never did take a photo of it.  I wish I had.  That stuff was incredible and honestly smelled good enough to eat!

untold

I recently sprayed the final spray in a mini-size of the cologne shown above, Elizabeth Arden’s “Untold”.  Strange thing (or maybe not so strange), Untold reminds me a bit of Amber Romance.  The website describes it as “sparkling pink pepper, fused with crisp Bergamont”. Okay.  To me it just smells sort of soft, musky, sweet, and good!

empties2

No surprise, I used another box of my favorite home hair color, L’Oreal Excellence in 6RB, Light Medium Auburn. Love this stuff.  It’s easy to use and gives consistently nice results.  At about $8.99 a box, I’ll keep buying it as long as they keep making it!

On to some favorite products from the past months….

I discovered this MAC lipstick this summer and don’t hear that much about it on blogs or YouTube from the beauty “gurus”.  It’s “Fanfare”!

fanfare lipstick

I love it!  I think it’s a perfect blend of rose and peachy coral tones.  It’s MAC’s cremesheen finish, which is so smooth and easy to wear.  Here’s a pic of me, sporting “Fanfare”.

suz Fanfare

Another favorite I’ve worn nearly every day that I wear make up is:

lightscameralashes

Tarte’s “Lights, Camera, Lashes” mascara.  I could bloviate a LONG time about why I love this stuff so much.  It thickens, it lengthens, it does not go on clumpy, and it stays all day – even though it’s NOT waterproof.  It’s also easy to remove at the end of the day. This is the first and only high end mascara I have ever tried that I think is actually superior to the better drug store mascaras. I’ll definitely repurchase, once it’s gone.

Another item I have used just about every day is:

sunsstone bronze

Tarte’s Skinny Smoldereyes eye liner pencil in “Sunstone Bronze”.  I don’t own many high end liners (two, to be exact!) but I’m glad I splurged on this one.  This glides on so smoothly and will “set” and STAY shortly after applying it.  It doesn’t set too fast, though. You can still use the smudger tip end and smudge out the line if you’d like.  I love the color because it’s gorgeous and not as harsh as black.  Yes, it’s a winner in my book!

The last “like” is my set of 6 stretchy head bands – and this hairdo that I sort of came up with, using one of them:

suz1suz2

It’s been pretty warm and humid in our neck of the woods, so this summer it’s been a relief to get my hair up off my neck.  I did this “do” with just my stretchy headband and about 6 bobby pins.  I love the colorful stretchy headbands that I picked up at Dollar Tree for… yes, you guessed it, a buck.  Six in the package for a dollar, all different colors.  Gotta love it!!   Oh, my lipstick in this photo is Revlon’s Lip butter in “Tutti Frutti”. It’s not everyday I wear orange lipstick – but today was one of those days! 🙂

Now for the “Boo’s”.  Boo number one is……

almay cc

Almay CC Cream.  I bought this stuff last summer on a buy one get one 50% off deal where I also purchased my much loved Get up and Grow mascara.  The mascara is a huge hit!!  The CC cream is NOT!  I gave it many opportunities to work for me, but it just didn’t.  It always felt slimy and greasy on my face.  If you forgot and moisturized before putting this cream on, it was almost like an oil slick. I do NOT have oily skin… yet this product sure made me feel like I did.  The other nasty thing about this item was that it began to separate!  I would squeeze some out onto my hand or fingers and part was the pigment and part would be a weird oily substance.  I tried shaking it up prior to use, and it still wasn’t right. I gave up and threw this little lovely into the rubbish bin!  Right where it belongs.  I won’t miss you, Almay CC Cream!!

For my last “Boo”…..

spring candle Bath and Body Works Candle in the scent of “Spring”.  Whoa!  I can’t believe I’m dissing a B & BW candle at all!  I love most of them and own quite a few different scents.  BUT. This candle is so harsh and so strong… it really fooled me. When I first smelled it in the store, I loved it. So I bought it.  But seriously, as this candle burns the smell gets stronger and stronger and literally begins to nauseate me. I can’t describe it, but it’s nasty.  Since these candles are NOT cheap (I get them on the 2 for $22 sales), I hesitate to just toss it out.  So, I’ve been burning it outside this summer.

That’s it for this time around.  I’m so excited we’re approaching Autumn here in the Northwest!  I am even looking forward to rainy days and making some pots of warming soups. It’s my favorite time of year!   Here’s our kitty, Jinx….

jinx1

Jinx says he’s looking forward to days spent laying in front of the fireplace or heat dish!  🙂  See you next time!!!

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May empties, three bravos, and a boo!

May meant a lot of changes for us.  We packed up our motor home for the final time and made our way up the west coast from southern California to Washington State. Please feel free to check out our RV blog that chronicled our trip from January through April across the southern USA at http://www.journalsfromourjourney.blogspot.com .  It was sure good to finally be home again!  So here are some items I used up this past month, several items I discovered and really enjoyed, as well as one I will certainly never repurchase!  Lets get started with five items I finished up this past month:

everpure

L’Oreal EverPure Color-care Moisture Shampoo.  I love this line of products by L’Oreal.  I color my hair, and this shampoo is sulfate free and claims to “gently cleanse and revitalize dry hair with essential moisture, leaving hair naturally soft and helping your color shine through”. I’m of the opinion that it pretty much does all that it claims!  I’ll definitely buy this again in the future. Price approx $5.99

olay

Olay Total Effects 7 In One moisturizer + serum.   I don’t hear much – if anything at all – on YouTube about this product.  I’ve been using Olay moisturizers for years but just recently tried this one with the added serum.  I love this stuff!  Not long ago I watched one of my favorite YouTubers talk about her night skin routine.  I think she puts seven different products on her face every night – which is great for her, but there is no way I could be dedicated to a routine like that. Not a chance!  This product works and I’ve already repurchased a couple of backups!  Price approx $18.99

argan oil

Josie Maran Argan Oil, 0.5 ounce.  I have used up two bottles of this and am currently starting on my third.  Here’s what they claim: “A lightweight oil that can be used as a daily moisturizer or treatment for skin, hair, and nails”.  For me, this works like a dream.  I feel like it’s too expensive to use on my hair as some folks do, so I use it as my (one and only) nightly moisturizer after I wash my face. I would say that my skin type is “normal” (not really dry, not really oily) – and this never feels too heavy or “oily” on my skin.  It’s absorbed really quickly, in my humble opinion.  If you do have oily skin, they make a “Light” version – something I can’t vouch for as I haven’t tried it.  I use 3-5 drops from the glass dropper every night on my face and neck.  One bottle will last me at least three months, if not longer.  Price $16 for the 1/2 ounce bottle at Sephora.

almay getup

Almay Get up and Grow Mascara.  I used up a tube of the waterproof, but they do make the regular type as well.  This is one of my most favorite mascaras – drug store OR high end. The brush looks almost exactly like the highly touted “Better Than Sex” mascara by Too Faced.  The formula is perfect, not too wet or too dry.  Simply an awesome mascara that holds a curl and two coats later you’ve got lengthened as well as thickened lashes.  Will definitely get this again!  Price – approx $7.99

cashmere

Bath and Body Works Cashmere Glow lotion.  Finished this off last week and will definitely get more!!  This has the softest scent, almost musky – really pleasant!  I bought this in January and used it frequently after showers to moisturize large areas like my arms and legs!  I didn’t use it after every shower, or it wouldn’t have lasted this long…  I particularly love it when BBW has sales as they often do, like “buy three get three free”! The regular price of this is $12 for 8 ounces, but I don’t think I’ve ever paid full price for anything at BBW.  No one should, as they have sales ALL THE TIME!

Now for three products that I discovered and am REALLY enjoying this past month!

luminoso

Milani baked blush in Luminoso.  What a perfect blush this is!!  Just the right amount of a golden-coral pigment. Slightly subtle, but still a perfect summery shade… just love it!  I picked mine up at WalMart for about $7.59.

revlon passionate pink

Revlon Colorstay nail polish in “Passionate Pink”.  First off, I really do like the Colorstay formula – I feel like it is the perfect consistency and really does resist chipping for a few days, at least!  I saw this color featured on one of my favorite YouTube channels and yes, I was influenced to go out and get it – and I’m so glad I did!!!  It’s the perfect summer pink! Rumor has it that Revlon is doing away with the Colorstay line, in favor of a new polish called Colorstay Gel Envy.  I’m glad I grabbed this before it disappears!  It was regularly priced at approx $7.99 but I think it’s now on clearance everywhere as stores get ready for the new Gel Envy polishes.

lollipop

Revlon lip butter in “Lollipop”.  Looks like I’m in a pink phase of late!!  I love this bright summery pink lipstick…. heck I really like most all the Revlon Lip Butters.  This one looks so pretty and I feel like it is moisturizing for the lips as well.  Price – approx $7.49.  A well known beauty YouTuber says this is a perfect dupe for  Too Faced La Creme lipstick in “Fuchsia Shock”.  I’ll insert a photo of the Too Faced La Creme….

fuchsia shockSometimes it’s hard to tell unless you have both items side by side, which she does in her lipstick dupe video.  Click here to watch.  I love the fact that I can save a bundle of money buying the Revlon Lip Butter!  The Too Faced La Creme lipstick goes for $22!

Now for my last item, the NOT SO FAVORITE, also known as a “Boo!!”

bed head

Bed Head Colour Goddess Leave in Conditioner – Therapy for Racy Redheads or Bodacious Brunettes.  Whew!  That’s a mouthful!  This stuff claims on the bottle to:  “Battles fading, dulling, and dryness”.  Sounds good, eh?  Well…. first let me say that I picked this up fairly cheap at TJ Maxx a while back.  I’m happy I didn’t spend an arm and a leg on this product! My beef with this item is that I simply cannot get past THE SMELL!  When you spray this into your wet hair,  ALL DAY LONG you will smell it…. burnt brown sugar. That’s the only way I can describe it… a burnt sugary scent that is honestly nauseating – for me at least.  I tried it again last week, thinking that possibly I’d overreacted.  Nope, this stuff smells so bad that I’ll never find out if it does all the stuff it claims to do!  I hate to say it, but I got a set of mini LORAC lip glosses from HauteLook a while back, and THEY TOO have that burnt brown sugar smell that I despise.  Luckily, the smell dissipates in a short period of time, while the BedHead conditioner odor stays with me for hours!

So, there you have it, my Empties, Bravos, and a Boo for May!

Some beauty favorites and empties

I have a confession to make.  I really enjoy watching beauty videos on YouTube.  I like seeing what people are using, enjoying, NOT-enjoying, products folks recommend, and products people dis.  It’s just a fun hobby for me, and yes, I’ll admit I’ve got a bit of a “collection” going on.  Since we are getting ready to head north to our home in Washington state, I made an effort to finish up a few things that I won’t need to transport back and I’ll show them to you here, along with my opinions.

First up, a hair treatment/masque :  L’Oreal Evercreme

L’Oreal claims this will “transform your dry, brittle hair into soft luscious strands”.  Does this happen?  YES!  I have dry hair and this product really does make it soooo much softer, like it really is beautifully moisturized.  I use it once a week or so in the shower. You really should leave it in for about 5 minutes for it to work it’s magic.  LOVE this stuff and definitely will repurchase.

Another item I finished off in April was a gift I got for Christmas…. or a third of a gift to be precise.   I got a trio of Josie Maran’s whipped Argan oil body butters and opened the Vanilla-Apricot one.

The three scents are Vanilla Apricot, Sweet Citrus, and Jasmine.  I have only opened the one, but OH my goodness I love this stuff! Josie Maran says it’s “intensely hydrating body butter that gives sweet relief to the driest skin.  Is this true?  Absolutely.  It’s a wonderful moisturizer for dry skin… and the Vanilla Apricot smells amazing.  It can be a bit oily in a way, but it IS made with whipped Argan oil, so I guess that shouldn’t be a shock.  My dry skin LOVES it, and so does my nose!  Would I repurchase?  Well, this is fairly pricey ($28 for three) so possibly not.

Another item I finished up last month was a sample size ($10) of Benefit’s “They’re Real” mascara.

I think I got this item for free with a Sephora order.  The full size (shown above) is $23.  I love mascara… if I were stranded on a desert island and could only take one make up product, mascara would be it.  Would this mascara be IT?  Probably not.  I liked it, but I didn’t absolutely love it.  Yes, it works great, and the wand is unique with the little fronds at the tip that help you reach and cover every eyelash.  Yet… I’ve found some nice drug store mascaras that are nearly as nice and priced less than half (way less than half) of “They’re Real”.

I finished up a 25 pack of these ….

Okay folks, the Neutrogena Make up remover towelettes are my “holy grail” cleansing wipes.  They claim to “gently dissolve all traces of make up – even waterproof mascara”.  Does it work?  Yes!  I do use another product for removing waterproof mascara, and then finish up with these towelettes. Would I repurchase? For sure! I already bought the giant pack at Costco!

About a year ago, my daughter in law and I did one of our marathon shopping trips to T. J. Maxx.  It was there I found this next item that i recently used up.  Pacifica French Lilac Body Butter.

First off let it be said that Lilacs are my FAVORITE flowers.  I LOVE the scent of lilacs!!  The Pacifica body butter really does smell like lilacs and not only that, it’s very moisturizing as well.  The price was right ($3 or $4) and one has to love a nice cream that’s made without any of the “bad stuff”  – aka Parabens.  I would definitely re purchase, but not right away as I do have other lotions  I need to work through.

I’ve been using this eye cream since October –  Benefit’s “It’s Potent” eye cream.  I’d never used an eye cream before, but I do have some fine lines under my eyes and what I think are AWFUL dark circles.  Here’s what this stuff claims to do: (I copied off their website)  It’s potent! eye cream fades dark circles & helps smooth fine lines for brighter, younger-looking eyes. Contains a peptide complex known to help restore elasticity & firmness, a blend of hydrating botanical extracts and loquat extract, known to help protect the skin from free radical damage.

Who wouldn’t want “brighter, younger-looking eyes”??  Hmmmmm  Okay, I can say that it did NONE of what it claimed and I DID give it a fair shake — over 6 months!!!  My dark under eye circles are just as dark as they always were.  I still have plenty of fine lines. I have no idea if there is any more elasticity or firmness.  What I CAN say is that it works just fine as an under eye moisturizer. Except that is NOT what I bought it for.  This item was (cringing here!!!!!!!!) $34.  No, I’d never re-purchase this item.  I’ll use my regular facial moisturizer for my under eye area once this is all gone… just like I’ve always done.

My buy of the month: Equate oil-free Eye Makeup remover – $3.97 for 5.5 ounces.  This is the Walmart brand which claims to be a dupe for the more expensive Neutrogena liquid eye makeup remover.  I saw this item on a YouTube video and watched the person remove her eye makeup with incredible ease, particularly the waterproof mascara – which is often very stubborn.  When I tried it, I was amazed at how easily the tough stuff slips off. It has never irritated my skin or burned my eyes, and OH YEAH, I’ll be buying this again… and again…. and again!!

So, there you have it, April’s favorites and empties.  If anyone is interested in some of my favorite YouTube channels, just let me know and I’ll list them in a post soon!