From the Editor’s Desk: Autumn 2017 Beauty Empties

     It’s time for my latest empties post, last one being for summer in August. Empties are a great way for me to recap my thoughts on products, and they will also (hopefully) inspire you to use more of the products in your stash. Below you’ll find my quick, always honest, impressions on items I’ve entirely used up or decluttered. 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

  • TRESemme Tres Two Feeze Hold Hair Spray ($5.76*): Not bad, gave good hold without being crunchy, and is a good value. Didn’t like the smell, it chocked me out of the bathroom each time. WNR
  • LUSH Cosmetics Montalbano Shampoo Bar ($10.95*): Smells brilliant and cleanses hair well, only thing is I’m not crazy about the mess these guys make when drying. They leave residue which is a hassle to clean each time. Otherwise, good and long-lasting. WNR
  • *Philosophy Senorita Margarita Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath ($22*): I loooove these shower gels, they’re so slick and creamy and heavily scented. This one smells exactly like 7UP, sweet and citrusy. I love this as shampoo, and use it regularly to clean my makeup brushes. Love! Only wish it came with a pump. WR
  • Status4Men Shine Pomade ($18*): This was a decent pomade, it did what it set out to do, could be a bit sticky at times. Washes out easily enough. WR

Body

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© Gil Segev 2017

  • *Avon Love, Mark. Bubble Bath ($10*): I used about half the bottle with each bath to get the mountains of bubbles I like. It is strongly perfumed with a cloying sweet scent, and the bubbles lasted longer than I did in the tub. I just don’t use these products often enough to justify them, but it was nice. WNR
  • *Roger & Gallet Fleur d’Osmanthus Uplifting Shower Gel ($17*): Really pleasant smelling, doesn’t last on the skin and quite pricey. Would purchase as a gift or for a guest bathroom, but not for myself. WNR
  • LUSH Cosmetics Reindeer And Robin FUN ($7.95*): I’m getting a bit tired of LUSH trying to reinvent soap in every way possible. This soap acts like children’s modelling clay, which is indeed how it is meant to be used. I’m not a sculptor by any means, so I attempted to use it straight on as shampoo, soap, and bubble bath. All three work fine, however it is highly pigmented and makes a mess in the tub+surrounding area, and it looses its shape rather quickly. I ended up using it up in about 10 days because it sort of melted away. I think their solid options for soap and shampoo are far more user-friendly. WNR
  • Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub ($20*): As the name suggests, this body scrub has a potent maple scent that can verge on annoying rather than delicious. Otherwise, the mixture of sugar and salt makes for a perfect scrub, which takes the form of a putty based on honey and other humectants. Skin is left soft and polished, making this a fairly affordable and effective option if you like the particular scent. WR
  • *Avon Little Red Dress Shower Gel ($12*): I like Avon’s shower gels, I just don’t like this particular fragrance. WNR
  • *Avon Senses Body Care Sweet Lemon Blossom & Basil Hydrating Shower Gel ($6*): Even at $6 these are expensive for the tiny amount of product you get. Unlike the Avon shower gels that come in a tube, this one had an incredibly faint smell, almost like an afterthought. Not a treat for the senses by any means. WNR
  • China Glaze 1131 Electrify Nail Lacquer ($9.75*): I’m a little surprised that you can still find this online for relatively cheap, because at the time of launch it was hard to find anything from this “Hunger Games” collection in stores. I remember loving this shade, but over the years it has completely dried out. I don’t wear nail polish like, ever, but would totally get this again for the nostalgia. WR
  • LUSH Cosmetics Buffy Body Butter ($12.95*): Really nice solid body scrub, leaves skin smooth and moisturized, smells good, natural ingredients, no primary packaging. However, lasts less than a month, probably not good for the most sensitive of skins. WR
  • *Mark Havana Sol Body Wash ($12*): One of the weaker scents I’ve had from Mark. Pass. WNR
  • LUSH Cosmetics The Rough With The Smooth Body Scrub ($10.95*): If you like the scent of LUSH’s Lord of Misrule bath bomb (or perhaps you’re lucky enough to have a rare EDP), you will be glad to find this naked scrub bar has the same warm, spicy fragrance. I was forewarned by sales staff that this particular solid scrub is very delicate, but I was super let down that the smallest contact with water entirely dissolved it. It lasted approximately 2 weeks (4 uses), and for that reason I would not recommend it. Try Buffy instead. WNR
  • LUSH Cosmetics Bûche de Noël Face & Body Cleanser ($22*): This is my second year purchasing this Christmas-time item, and I can see myself buying it again next year. This time I used it as a body scrub rather than a face cleanser, because it expires far too quickly to be used up that way. It smells lovely and has a gentle scrubbing action. Only con besides the rapid expiration is that it can leave messy bits around the tub, so just be mindful of that. Otherwise, great ingredients and presentation, I love the gold foil detail. WR

 Makeup

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© Gil Segev 2017

  • *Christian Dior Universal Diorshow Brow Styler Ultra-Fine Precision Brow Pencil ($36*): It is wrong to call this a brow pencil, because it is actually a dehydrated pigment. Besides not requiring a cap, that means this product looks as natural on hairless skin as it does on thick brows, so you always get the most natural, filled in look possible. The thin, hard tip allows you to draw real hairs in fine strokes. I love this! WR
  • Guerlain Beige Lingerie La Petite Robe Noire Deliciously Shiny Lipstick ($38*): I like a sheer lipstick, but this was a next-to-nothing lipstick; seriously, I could hardly tell I had it on. The bigger problem is that it wore off within actual minutes of application, with any talking at all. I also don’t like the clear packaging because I could see the insides getting dirty with each application. So many issues. WNR
  • *Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($47*): There is no reason whatsoever for this product to be as hyped and as popular as it is. It is nothing more than a translucent powder with the texture of flour. It works the same as any cheaper alternative. I’m actually decluttering my pot because the plastic ring that connects the tub to the cap broke randomly, entirely unexpectedly and unprovoked, and shaking any product into the lid now entails a tornado of product from the gap. WNR
  • *Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara ($28*): If you love the long, separated, doll-like lash look, this will be your friend. Non-clumpy, long lasting, non-flaking or smudging, and washes off cleanly. The formula dries, of course, but not in such a way that it makes lashes brittle and irritating. Really liked. WR
  • *Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer ($42*): I cannot believe that this is as expensive as it is, for what it is. This hyped-up primer does little more than provide a substantial barrier between skin and makeup – no pore benefits to be seen. It has the potential to pill up if used generously. And frankly, I think the packaging is hideous. WNR
  • Pond’s Original Fresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes ($9.79*): Good for makeup removal, gentle yet saturated, smelled nice. WR
  • COVER FX P40 Pressed Mineral Foundation ($42*): This foundation is so strange, it applies sheer but builds coverage throughout the day. Also, despite being a powder it acts like a liquid when it comes to layering concealer and other cream products. It’s not bad, just not what I’m looking for. Finally, it develops a hard pan really fast and must be continuously scraped, and the sponge that comes with it is garbage. WNR
  • *Christian Dior 01 Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen ($48*): This will give you brightness, but not much coverage. I finished this tube in about a month. I would use it again in conjunction with a fuller coverage concealer, or for natural days. WR
  • MAC Cosmetics Neutralize Prep and Prime CC Colour Correcting Compact ($33): This pressed powder lends skin a light yellow tint, which is good for brightening and evening the tones. I just prefer loose powder. WNR
  • *Christian Dior 100 Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation ($78*): Probably one of my favorite foundations to date. It feels absolutely weightless on the skin, and can be sheered out or built up easily. Natural finish with SPF 10. Works well as under-eye concealer too, so refreshing and cooling. Long lasting, doesn’t break down or out. I recommend the associated brush or sponge. WR
  • *MAC Cosmetics Tryphaena and Cleopatra Pro Sculpting Creme Duo ($38.50): This was the PERFECT item for men’s no-makeup makeup. Its contour shade was the ideal grey taupe, and the highlight provided a subtle white lift to the cheeks. I wish I could find the contour shade specifically in a permanent item. WR
  • *Urban Decay Streak Naked Flushed Palette ($35*): In theory this is a fantastic product, because you get all your basic complexion products in complementary shades in an inexpensive, travel-friendly case with large mirror. Issue is, these products are pressed super loosely in their pan, and will shatter/outright fall out very quickly. I did get some good use out of them (highlight and blush are a bit chalky), but all three shades ended up falling out on me. No, thank you! WNR
  • Ole Henriksen Nurture Me Cleansing Clothes ($19*): This is the old style of Ole wipes. At the time I was trained on these, we were told they’re made of Israeli cotton, which I’m happy to support. I loved the smell of these, it is very a very sweet citrus fragrance similar to Bonbon by Viktor & Rolf. They’re also nicely sized, and very good at removing makeup. I did find that towards the last five wipes or so they were fairly dried out, and the last one was entirely unusable. For the price, I expected a little more, so I can’t see myself purchasing this variety again, although the new formula may be different. WNR
  • *Maison Jacynthe 01 Compact Powder ($35*): This powder has changed since I acquired it, and went up $6 in price. It’s made entirely of natural, organic materials, and has a strong coffee fragrance. Used as a foundation it gives a sheer to medium matte coverage, enough to even out tone but not hide any blemishes. Worth mentioning it does not include a case, which is sold separately. WNR
  • *Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara ($34.50*): Really lovely mascara if you want big, dramatic lashes. Not clumpy, non-irritating, smells oddly good, long-lasting. WR
  • *Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder ($24*): This powder does a nice job at setting without drying, however I can’t stand the smell, the sifter, and the way it kicks up a cloud of product with every application. Too messy for the professional kit, too smelly for the personal one. WNR
  • Burberry Kisses 05 Nude Pink Hydrating Lip Colour ($38*): I really like the Burberry packaging, and this lipstick feels very chic with its magnetic closure and sharp stripes. The colour is very sheer, like a your-lips-but-better shade. It is hydrating, but not long lasting. It was okay to use up, but not something I would buy again. WNR

Skincare

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© Gil Segev 2017

  • *Avon Brightening Sheet Mask ($30*): I don’t like sheet masks, I think you should either use a real mask or a serum to get the same effects for cheaper and longer. WNR
  • *Estee Edit Dissolve the Drama 2-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser ($32*): Really smooth, low-fragrance cleansing oil to take off makeup. I wouldn’t call it a cleanser, but it does a good job at taking everything off without tugging. Only thing to watch out for is that if you get it in your eye it’ll make your vision temporarily fuzzy, so just be careful. WR
  • Rituals Basil & Ginseng Mild & Caring Shaving Cream ($28.29*): Moderate, smells nice, but not enough razor glide. WNR
  • Laline Lip Scrub ($14.95*): All lip balm, no lip scrub. Terrible. WNR
  • *Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist ($26.49*): Jurlique has sadly pulled out of Canada, both in stores at Sephora and online. Their biggest problem by far is how quickly their products expire. I remember loving this, but when I used it to set my makeup this time I didn’t love it as much as MAC’s Fix+. The spray nozzle is also crummy. WNR
  • Body Shop Exfoliating Face Cleanser with Strawberry & Passiflora Seed Powder ($17.66*): This is indeed not the Body Shop you’re probably familiar with, but rather an Israeli brand. I used this cleanser as a physical scrub a couple times a week. What I liked most was the delicious strawberry scent and gentle scrubbing action, as well as cute glass package. I wish there were more scrubbing bits, but overall I liked it enough. WR
  • *Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel ($47*): Very nice cleansing gel, foams up the right amount, doesn’t dry out skin, smells good, good value for the large bottle, and gives an exfoliating boost to skin that results in a bit of extra radiance. WR
  • *Avon Anew Clean Micellar Cleansing Water ($12*): This micellar water is really great at gently removing most makeup, it would be great for an on-the-go kit. For at home use, I prefer something more oil-based that doesn’t require the use of cotton rounds, as my stubbly face tends to shred them. WR
  • *Smashbox Primer Oil ($50*): The fact Smashbox had the audacity to market this otherwise fine oil as a primer shows incredibly big marketing balls, and a distinct lack of understanding of customers’ needs. Dry skinned people need hydration to be sure, but this oil has ZERO ability to perform the basic functions of a primer: extending longevity, keeping colors accurate, and providing a barrier between the skin and products. While its natural ingredients certainly give skin a nice glow and seal in moisture, it will do no good for makeup. If you’re going to use it as a beauty oil, fine, but I don’t recommend it as a primer (I also wasn’t crazy about the scent). WNR
  • LUSH Cosmetics Five O’Clock Whistle Shaving Smoothie ($13.95*): For me, LUSH’s claim that everything is handmade is also one of its biggest pitfalls. The nature of making handmade products on a massive scale is inevitable gross inconsistencies between batches, which is evident from a simple stroll through any LUSH store. I sampled this shaving cream earlier in the year, and loved it. Upon acquiring a tub, I realized it was much too thin for my needs with a thick, dry, irritating beard. Although it still smells good, and I like that the packaging is based on closed-loop recycling, I can’t recommend it. WNR
  • *Christian Dior One Essential Intense Skin Detoxifying Booster Serum ($130*): I’ve raved about this enough that everyone knows it is my favorite. In fact, this was my fourth finish bottle, and I am on to the fifth. Seriously, the best at cleaning and clearing skin, with good ingredients, the softest texture, and most decadent scent. Love. WR
  • *Algenist Algae Brightening Mask ($70*): As seen in my skincare video, this is a funky looking green mask that claims to brighten, smooth, hydrate, and plump all in one. Sounds promising, but other than a temporary radiance boost I didn’t notice a difference. I also didn’t like the smell of it, and if used on dry skin (as advised) it burns, so I always used it in the shower. WNR
  • *Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Firming Serum ($100*): Like most Fresh products, this was a pleasure to use. Their formulas are always a sensorial experience, with relaxing aromas and smooth textures. This is no exception. Packed with antioxidants and natural ingredients, this serum protects skin as well as repairs it. It feels like someone is taking all the loose skin on your face and scrunching it up, like everything becomes firmer and more filled out. Nothing but good things to say, I only wish it came in a pump bottle as the applicator can be awkward. WR
  • *First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum ($45*): This is a good, clean serum that doubles as a light moisturizer. The clear gel sinks in quickly with not greasy residue or fragrance. It has good ingredients that are unlikely to irritate the most sensitive of skins. I just don’t understand the high price for the mediocre claims, anything from the drugstore would do the same for less. I recommend it as a product, but they seriously need to rethink the cost. WR

Fragrance

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© Gil Segev 2017

  • *Theirry Mugler Angel EDT ($59.26*): As a fan of the EDP, this is nothing like it and not nearly as good. Evaporates instantly, no longevity, and lacks the strength of the original. WNR
  • *Calvin Klein CK One Red Edition for Her ($29.99*): This is straight up watermelon gum, so yummy and refreshing. If you douse yourself in it then it’ll last, I almost used it as a body spray. WR
  • *Calvin Klein Eternity for Men ($26.78*): Timeless, classic men’s scent. I’ve gotten the feedback that this smells mature, but I just love it. Synthetic woods, fresh, clean, masculine. My dad wore this when he was a teen, and now I have, too. Glad I have a backup. WR

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


*Prices true at time of writing.


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