From the Editor’s Desk: Summer 2017 Beauty Empties

     It’s time for my latest empties post, last one being for spring in May. This is going to be an excessively long mini-reviews collection, so let’s just go ahead and jump into it. These are the products I’ve used up since the winter, and below you’ll find my quick, always honest, impressions on them. For quick reference, WNR stands for Would Not Repurchase/Recommend and WR is Would Repurchase/Recommend. Products sent to me for review consideration or gratis marked with an asterisk before the brand name.

Hair

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© Gil Segev 2017

  • *Philosophy Candy Cane Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath: This is not one of my favorite scents from the annual holiday range. It reminds me of super minty toothpaste. It works really nicely as shampoo, it bubbles up and doesn’t dry out the hair. Would purchase again in a different scent. WNR
  • L’Oreal Men Expert Defining Gel – Extra Strong Hold ($7.99*): This is just meh, a typical hair gel. Not as high hold as I like. WNR
  • *Skinny & Co. Skinny Coconut Oil ($15*): This jar curdled about 2 months prior to its expiration, so it was time to go. If you want to use coconut oil cosmetically, just buy it at the store for a fraction of the price. WNR
  • Axe Clean Cut Look Classic Pomade ($7.86*): For the price, this is a really decent hair styling product, as long as you have short hair. It is fairly thick, but because it is clear it never looks caked up. Smells nice, too. WR

Body

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© Gil Segev 2017

  • Softsoap Coconut Butter Body Scrub Exfoliating Body Wash ($3.97*): This was one of those lotion-scrub hybrids, where the scrubbing particles are too scarce to actually do any good. I like it rough, dang it! It smelled nice, though, and I would recommend it to those looking for a daily wash with a hint of scrubbing. WNR
  • Perfumerie Zielinski & Rozen Bitchy Boy Soap ($7.61*): My cousin’s wife showed me this gem of a shop in the Tel Aviv market in Israel, and I bought this soap on her recommendation. I don’t know what it’s made of, I don’t know the notes of the fragrance, and I don’t know how to order it online (though I’ve placed a hold for my next trip, including a matching EDP). All I know is I’m in love with this scent! It smells like a mix between Axe and Abercrombie & Fitch, and I’m so obsessed with it. Sporty, masculine, preppy, fresh, and completely addictive. The soap itself is hydrating and slightly oily, and lathers well. Can’t wait to get my hands on more. WR
  • *Mark Maui Bliss Body Wash: Nice formula, thick and lathers well, not too drying. Not obsessed with the fragrance. WNR
  • Nuxe Prodigieux Huile De Douche Precious Scented Shower Oil ($19.04*): Smells lovely, but that gold shimmer… yuck. WNR
  • *Avon Sense Body Care Creamy Fruity Yogurt Hydrating Shower Gel ($6*): Smells really sweet and fruity, but not my cup of tea. The functionality of the “hook” bottle was lost on me, as it couldn’t latch onto anything in my shower. WNR
  • Ahava Mandarin & Cedarwood Mineral Hand Cream ($30*): Smells like my grandma’s clean laundry, soooo good. Nicer formula than the other one from the same gift pack, it sunk in better and wasn’t waxy. WR
  • *Avon Senses Body Care Sparkling Starfruit & Coconut Hydrating Shower Gel ($6*): Again, not my favorite fragrance. WNR
  • Nuxe Reve de Miel Hand and Nail Cream ($16*): This smells as good as the other Nuxe products, like a sophisticated sweet floral perfume. I liked how easily it spread at first, but after a few moments it becomes waxy and hard, which made it very unpleasant and not hydrating enough. WNR
  • LUSH Cosmetics Scrubee Body Butter ($7.95*): I didn’t realize right until now that this is classified as a body butter, which actually makes sense. This scrub/butter hybrid has really intense, rough exfoliating beads, but a good dose of hydrating oils that smell super sweet. What I liked about it was that it was hydrating yet got off lots of dead skin, smells good, and came without packaging (“naked,” as LUSH likes to call them). I would enjoy this again if they sold it. WR
  • Crest 3D White Multi-Care Whitening Fresh Mint Glamorous White Oral Rinse ($6.96*): Not a bad product, it doesn’t have alcohol so it doesn’t sting, and it is nice as part of the cleaning routine. I don’t think I would use it as a “refresher” or in place of brushing. Certainly no whitening benefits as far as I’m concerned. WNR
  • *Seed Body Care Dream Land Bath Blossom ($4.95*): For such a small bath bomb, this is very fragrant, both in and out of water. Smells heavily of lavender, which makes it very relaxing. I liked the oils it released in the water, and that they don’t try to distract you with flashy colors. I don’t like bath bombs much these days, but I would use this again. WR
  • The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Shower Gel ($10*): This doesn’t have the most luxurious lather I’ve ever encountered, but the scent is divine, like a peach almost past ripeness. I would purchase this again if it goes on sale. WR
  • Laline Vanilla Patchouli Body Scrub ($32.95*): I bought this in Israel, where it is significantly cheaper than this imported stuff. Made with large, coarse sea salt, this body scrub buffs off dead skin like a champ, while also nourishing it with minerals and oils. I found that I had to follow it up with a body wash, because it was almost too oily. The fragrance was delicious. Be aware that the salt takes a moment to “melt” in water, and the bottom of your shower/tub will be lined with the small crystals until you rinse them. I’d recommend getting the larger containers, which are a better value. WR
  • Ahava Original Mineral Hand Cream ($30*): Has a strong floral-beachy fragrance, not my fav. WNR
  • *Avon So Very Sofia by Sofia Vergara Shower Gel ($15*): This has a lovely deep, sweet scent, but I went through it way too quickly to justify the price. It has the appearance of hand soap, frankly. WNR
  • *Avon Foot White Ginger & White Tea Smoothing Scrub ($8*): Great product for the whole body. Relaxing, spa-like fragrance, with a hydrating base and enough scrubby-bits to keep me happy. Lasted about 6 uses. I *thinkthere aren’t any microbeads in this, but I may be wrong. WR
  • Nivea Creme Care Soap ($6.29*): Who doesn’t love the classic, clean smell of Nivea soap? Feels gentle yet cleansing on the skin, and the scent lasts. WR
  • Crest 3D White Diamond Strong Toothpaste: Just okay, definitely did not notice any whitening effects. WNR
  • *Avon Planet Spa Pampering Chocolate Body Wash ($9*): If I didn’t have so much body wash in my arsenal I would go out and purchase a box of these right now. There are no words to describe the deliciousness of this fragrance; decadent, sweet, like liquid chocolate. Formula is rich and creamy, lather is good, no complaints. 10/10. WR
  • *Avon Prima Shower Gel ($15*): I don’t understand the wild variations in prices in the Avon body care range. I liked this fragrance formula, but can’t justify this price. WNR
  • *Avon Planet Spa Heavenly Hydration with Mediterranean Olive Oil Body Scrub ($12*): Good gentle scrub, but difficult to wash off and I hated the medicinal fragrance. WNR

 Makeup

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© Gil Segev 2017

  • *Guerlain 02 Parure De Lumiere Light Diffusing Fluid Foundation SPF 25 ($42**): This was sent to me from FragranceNet.com for my Guerlain tutorial a while back (linked here). I liked this foundation well enough for the winter months, it gave me a natural, medium coverage with a glowy finish. It doesn’t wear terribly well, and definitely broke down around my cheeks by the end of the day. It also transferred lots. Try Dior’s Star foundation instead for a similar finish. WNR
  • *Algenist REVEAL Concentrated Color Correcting Drops ($50 each*): I’m decluttering the Apricot and Blue shades. The ultra runny consistency of these color correctors make them more appropriate for large areas of the face rather than spot correcting, but they lack the high pigmentation needed to color correct, say, my beard. The formula makes no sense to me. WNR
  • *Dior 622 Confident Addict Lipstick ($43*): My favourite lipstick on Earth is this guy right here. The silver packaging with holographic shift holds the perfect brown nude shade that evens and plumps my lips, with a hydrating core that feels like a balm. Love. WR
  • *Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash ($29*): Really terrible from the get-go, clumps galore and the situation only gets worse from there. I found no way to apply this mascara without it getting on my eye lids and making lashes bunch up. Combined with the small balls of product randomly distributed in my lashes, this was a major fail. Props for keeping fresh for 6 months, though. WNR
  • Sephora Collection Master Cleanse Daily Brush Cleaner: This is discontinued now, but don’t be sad because it wasn’t worth repurchasing anyways. It doesn’t really get all (or even most) of the product out of brushes, and is greasy. WNR
  • *Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($24*): I went back and forth about this primer. For starters, this travel size costs more than any full-size drugstore primer I know of. The “jumbo” 2 oz size is nearly $90, which is more than any Guerlain, Dior, or YSL primer I know of for comparison. However, I found myself really enjoying and looking forward to using this product. It has a built in SPF (admittedly still low), feels silky smooth on the skin, and makes makeup waterproof – for real; I went to a pool party with a full face on, and it lasted until I took it off myself. You have to see it to believe it. So because of that fun fact, I would be likely to purchase again for summer use (in the tube – this glass container features a pretty bad pump and leaves tons of product unreachable at the bottom). WR
  • Revlon 007 Melon-Drama Powder Blush: This appears to be discontinued, but it wasn’t that cheap for a drugstore blush at the time – around $15, I think. It’s a pretty coral shade with gold reflects, but when it got to the bitter end it lost all pigment and even fell right out of the pan. Pretty, but there are so many others I would like to try. WNR
  • Essence Beauty Beats 01 SWAAAAG! Shimmer Powder ($3.99*): If you’ve complimented my highlight in the past year (and a good couple hundred people did, I would say), there’s a good chance it was this guy. Besides the ridiculous name, you really can’t beat the glow-to-price ratio here. It provides a soft, lit from within luminosity to the skin in a violet-white shade, and can be built up. Mine shattered, but I crushed it up and continued to use it as a pigment. Super sad this is gone, and if the Biebs wants to collab with Essence again, I’d be down! WR
  • *Sephora Collection The Natural Citrus Brush Cleaner ($14*): This brush cleanser is actually really nice, it has a strong citrus scent which is useful if you’re dealing with clients and want them to know you’ve recently cleaned your tools. It is not greasy, removes most makeup (except a few stubborn shadows), and has a good spray mechanism. WR
  • *Urban Decay Reverb Heavy Metal Loose Glitter ($16*): Decluttered; while this loose glitter is super pretty, it is far from worth the price. It has large, circular metallic blue flakes, which are difficult to manipulate, fall out despite using a dedicated glue primer, and are near impossible to remove. This irritated my eyes to no ends. WNR
  • *YSL BD40 Touche Eclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation ($65*): This is definitely my summer shade, I could never pull off this dark a color in winter. It has medium to full coverage, a bit of SPF, and is apparently good for circulation (it also smells good!). I found it very wet feeling, and it takes a bit of work to get into the skin, but once on it is really nice, with a glowing finish. It doesn’t ever really “set,” even with powder and spray, so keep that in mind when hugging people with white shirts. WR
  • *Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Camille/Sand Shimmer Highlighting Duo Pencil ($30*): If you have a flesh-colored concealer and a shimmery nude shadow (cream or otherwise) in your collection, you don’t need this extra $30 item. I didn’t like that as I sharpened the pencil it became so small that it lost its precision (much prefer a twist-up), and the shimmery side tended to bunch up on my foundation/concealer unattractively. WNR
  • *MAC Cosmetics Pink Rebel and Barbados Girl Lustre Drops ($21*): Decluttering these because I have no use for them. I’ve tried everything from using them as a primer, to a primer mix-in, to a foundation mix-in, to a liquid highlight, to liquid eye shadow, and I have yet to find a way to make them work that’s actually solving a problem rather than adding an extra step. WNR
  • *Know Cosmetics No Bleeding Lips Secret Lip Liner ($15*): Another declutter. I find no need for a clear lip liner. If your lipstick is feathering on you, don’t just add a lip liner, return the lipstick! WNR
  • *Christian Dior Backstage Eye Primer ($37*): I don’t like eye primers at the best of times, but this one was especially dry and difficult to work with. Decluttered. WNR
  • NYX Pink Roll On Eye Shimmer ($7*): Roll on eye shimmer? Whose brilliant idea was that? Not. Glitter should come out of a pot, or a tube with a glue base at least. It is impossible to maneuver with this type of applicator. Decluttered. WNR
  • *Make Up For Ever Y23 Ultra HD Concealer ($34*): There was a bit of a learning curve to this product, but once I mastered it I truly enjoyed it. Like the rest of the Ultra HD line, this product needs to be stippled, not buffed, and preferably with a sponge. It gives great, full coverage, and really brightens a summer look. Doesn’t crease or break up throughout the day, and I was able to get every last bit out of the tube. WR
  • Rimmel London Sun Queen SunShimmer Shimmering Maxi Bronzer ($8.98*): You can’t beat this guy for a warm, healthy glow on a budget. You get a huge 17 grams of product, which is shimmery on the surface but fairly matte below. It has a beautiful orange tint that gives the illusion of a tan. I successfully repressed mine after dropping and shattering it. I love that the big pan allows you to use your favorite jumbo brush. WR
  • *Marc Jacobs Love Buzz Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer Lipgloss ($35*): One of my favorite lip glosses. This has a bit of mint in it to plump and freshen your lips, and gives a gorgeous Barbie pink pout with gold reflect. Can be a bit goopy, but long lasting. WR
  • MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix + ($28*): This was my second bottle, and my last review stands. This is an awesome setting spray for anyone with dry skin. WR
  • *Sephora Collection High And Dry High Density Sponge ($15*): This is a dry-use sponge, which I prefer since it’s one less step in the routine. It blends concealer perfectly without taking away from its coverage, and is great at cleaning up mistakes and blending other cream products. WR

Skincare

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  • *Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs for Normal to Dry Skin ($35*): If you like thicker, creamier makeup removers, this could be great for you. It takes face makeup off easily, and does a decent job on the eyes, too. I would still recommend double cleansing, or at least taking a wipe to the eyes if you wear a lot of dark eye liner and mascara. For a primary cleanse this was a treat I looked forward to every day, therefore I would get it again in the jumbo size (which is $5 extra for twice the product). WR
  • *The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream ($91.69***): This came in the 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave kit I reviewed last year (linked here). This shaving cream has a rich, deep sandalwood and cocoa scent. The texture of the whipped cream is thick yet light, and made for a pleasant shave. I bought it for my dad for his birthday and he enjoyed it enough to buy it for his brother, too. Convenient packaging makes it easier to get in there with either fingers or a brush. WR
  • *Bliv Shrink and Tighten + Large Pores Diminishing Night Complex ($49*): Decluttered, because after nearly a year of use, I see no difference. Waste of time. They tell you to massage three drops of this oil onto the skin until dry, but that would literally take days. Also, they instruct you not to shake it, yet you must in order to dispense the product. WNR
  • *Bliv Off With Those Heads Blackheads Sebum Gel ($63*): Another declutter. Somehow I’ve barely made a dent in it in the past year. Similarly ineffective as the last one, just smells minty and gives a little tingle. WNR
  • *Avon Anew Clean Daily Scrub ($12*): This is actually a really nice product, but it has microbeads so I can’t support it. WNR
  • Biotherm Homme Cleansing Gel ($29*): Nothing about this cleanser is worth $29 to me. It has a thin consistency, smells fresh, and cleanses alright, but the lackluster ingredients don’t justify the price. WNR
  • *Ole Henriksen Truth Sugar Glow Polishing Mask ($52*): Another Ole product, another letdown. This mask smells like nasty oranges, and features giant, jagged sugar crystals and some sort of seeds that are meant to scrub the skin. Problem is, it doesn’t do anything! Virtually no difference before and after usage. As for the seeds, the little buggers are hard to wash off and you’ll find them in nooks and crannies you didn’t know you possessed. WNR
  • *Algenist POWER Advanced Wrinkle Fighter Serum ($108*): Absolutely not worth the money. Smells terrible, does nothing. On top of that, my large bottle had defective packaging out of the box, where the pump just does not work. I dumped the whole thing into a Tupperware container, but ended up tossing even that because I can’t stand the stink. WNR
  • *Guerlain Abeille Royale Honey Nectar Lotion for Firming and Smoothing ($78*): I’m really not the biggest fan of toners in general, and few have gotten a high score from me for that reason alone. The pros of this toner (and that is indeed what this is – not a lotion) include an incredible fragrance, and real hydrating properties. I felt as though it prepared my skin to absorb whatever came next, and I enjoyed it for that reason. I don’t think it’s a necessity, or the best toner out there, but if I had another bottle I think I would gladly use it. WR
  • *Lancome Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Serum ($129*): I’m of the school of thought that this hyped-about serum doesn’t do much, although I know there’s a whole army of devoted consumers who would say otherwise. I found that it slides onto the skin nicely, but then becomes tacky and sticky besides being heavily scented. I can’t see myself pouring this kind of money into a product that doesn’t give me results. WNR
  • *Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($18*): I have so many issues with this product. First, it’s nearly $20 for just the travel size. Second, it feels gritty on the skin for no apparent reason. Third, it has irritating alcohol and fragrance ingredients, so not so “Pure,” is it, Tatcha? It works well enough and certainly leaves the skin conditioned, but with all that said I won’t be repurchasing. WNR
  • *REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream ($56*): Again, several issues with this product. While it claims to be a “global protection” item, it lacks the very basic protective component: sunscreen! The cream itself has a strong herbal smell (added fragrance, might I add), and while it’s nice enough, if you put so much more than the tiniest amount on the skin, it will not absorb and become a greasy, smelly, white mask. I wish I liked it more, but I don’t. WNR
  • LUSH Cosmetics Santa Baby Lip Scrub ($8.95*): I liked the Cola fragrance and sugary flavor, but the grains weren’t strong enough for me. It’s more like a daily scrub than a once-a-week deal. Could definitely feel the pepper oil, but no plumping that I noticed. WNR
  • *Indeed Labs Collagen Booster Boosting Serum ($24.99*): Decluttered. This is a neat idea, but it falls short. Mixed into other products (as directed) it makes no difference to my skin. Also, pricey for a drugstore item. WNR
  • *Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture ($85*): This moisturizer has a smooth, velvety, creamy texture that absorbs quickly and is completely fragrance free. The cream really floods the skin with hydration, and I would totally enjoy this again. Should come with a small scoop for the jar packaging. WR
  • Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil ($27*): Great smelling, light-weight oil for hair and face. Not greasy, gives an extra layer of moisture. WR
  • *Christian Dior One Essential Eye Serum ($90*): Every item from the One Essential family is a hit for me. This eye serum, although not hydrating, does a great job targeting under-eye darkness. It greatly helps to reduce discoloration and texture, and for that I will definitely repurchase. WR
  • *Avon Anew Men 2-in-1 After Shave Balm ($10*): It’s taken me exactly 2 years to go through this tube, which tells you just how useful aftershave is to me in my routine (or rather isn’t). Still, I looked forward to using this particular one when the need arose, because it has a lightweight texture and a menthol-induced cooling sensation that numbs sensitive skin post shaving. It doesn’t hydrate all that well, so if you’re going to use it I would recommend letting it absorb then following with a cream, but otherwise it’s a really solid option, and that it smells good and is super affordable is a bonus. WR
  • Biotherm Foam Shaver ($22*): If you like a foaming shaving cream then this will do the trick, but I fail to see how it is any better than the $5 options at the drugstore. WNR
  • *Jack Black Eye Balm De-Puffing & Cooling Gel ($29*): This is a great affordable, mostly natural eye cream if you are concerned with puffiness. The only drawback is that it doesn’t hydrate that much on its own. Full review here. WR
  • *Avon Anew Brightening Sheet Mask ($30*): This mask has a nice cooling effect, it hydrates, and smells delightful. However, I wouldn’t say it brightens. If you’re into sheet masks this is okay, but I’m not. WNR
  • Rituals Samurai Scrub 2 in 1 Cleanser ($17.38*): What I find infuriating is that of all the natural alternatives I try, I still like scrubs with microbeads the best (I found out this one contains them in retrospect – I wouldn’t have purchased it had I known prior). This one smells spicy and fresh, and really gives skin a good polish. I’d recommend it, but that goes against my values. WNR
  • *Philosophy Purity Made Simple One Step Facial Cleanser ($48*): This cult favorite cleanser, makeup remover, and toner in one is brilliant. It has a light rosy scent, and its 12 essential oils froth up slightly to give you a deep cleanse. It saves you money and time, and I will definitely repurchase. I just wish it came with a pump. WR
  • The Real Shaving Company Original Shaving Oil: This is useless, I don’t get the point of it. It made no difference to my shaving routine. WNR
  • LUSH Cosmetics Papa Noel Face Jelly: I don’t know why I let myself be suckered into another LUSH “jelly” – these products SUCK! They fall apart no matter how carefully they are handled, so that Insta-worthy beard shot you bought this for won’t even become a reality. I tried every which way to use this, from rubbing solid chunks, to smushing them into a paste, to freezing. NOTHING. WORKS. It’s like washing your face with fragile tofu, and it doesn’t even smell that great. Never again. WNR
  • *Avon Anew Platinum Firm and Sculpt Cream for Neck and Chest ($45*): We so often forget about our necks when it comes to skincare, simply because all the focus is on the eyes and rest of the face. But imagine how silly you’d look with a tight, smooth face and a wrinkly neck? Gross. Even though this is one of the most expensive products I’ve ever used from Avon, I think it did a great job at firming my neck. Every time I applied it at night it felt hydrating and lifting, and I was sad to see it go. It leaves a bit of greasy residue on hands after application, but that washes off easily enough. I can see myself using this again. WR
  • *Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask ($65*): Oddly enough this has gone down in price since I received it in PR last year, which is the opposite trend of most products. This clay mask absorbs oils well, but is emollient on the skin. If you’re drier, I don’t think you’ll like it so much, but oilier complexions will probably find this very cleansing. The fragrance is very strong but pleasant. For my skin type it is not beneficial enough to make it worth a repurchase. WNR
  • *Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel ($60*): If you need some extra shine to your skin, this peel will deliver it quickly. It gives a slight cooling sensation, but the radiance is really noticeable if not terribly long lasting. WR
  • Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen ($25*): This has definitely gone up in price since I bought it last fall. I thought this would be a good cheap alternative to my favorite Dior sunscreen, but alas, it is cheaper for a reason. There’s the terrible smell, the horrible thickness, the inability to sink into the skin, the white-cast… shall I go on? Terrible, decluttering. WNR

Fragrance

  • *Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Summer 2012 ($66.91*): While the colorful, tropical packaging drew me in, the gentle, masculine lavender-based fragrance captured my heart. I loved wearing this for work, especially in the summer, because it is fresh and clean and light. If you want it to last, you literally need to drench your whole body in 20+ sprays, but the 125 mL bottle and affordable price help justify it. WR

     Have you tried any of these products? What have you been loving this season?


*Prices true at time of writing.

**Out of stock at time of writing, price listed was as of April 2016.

***Out of stock at time of writing, price listed was as of June 2016.


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2 responses to “From the Editor’s Desk: Summer 2017 Beauty Empties

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