From the Editor’s Desk: Spring 2018 Beauty Empties

     Below you’ll find my quick, always honest impressions on items I’ve entirely used up or decluttered this spring. For quick reference, WNR stands for Would Not Repurchase/Recommend and WR is Would Repurchase/Recommend.

Hair

Hair Empties Spring 2018

© Gil Segev 2018

  • Wise Birch Bark Daily Shampoo ($34* – received in PR): I’ve written a raving review about this product, linked here. WR
  • L’Oreal Paris Studio Line #Txt Shaping Pomade ($6.46*): I’ve definitely used some better styling products in the past. This pomade tends to make my hair bunch up in clumps instead of evenly distributing, and leaves a tacky finish. The hold is moderate, not strong as claimed. WNR

Body

Body Care Empties Spring 2018

© Gil Segev 2018

  • Avon Skin So Soft Original Creamy Body Wash ($10* – received in PR): Gosh, what an awful product! I hated the consistency and smell of this body wash, and went through it in about two weeks. WNR
  • LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner ($35.95*): This in-shower lotion helped save my skin this winter. It feels like a creamy body wash yet leaves nourishing oils on the skin that linger past the final rinse. I LOVED the Rose Jam scent and will 100% be repurchasing this for next winter (maybe sooner!). WR
  • Avon Skin So Soft Soft & Sensual Creamy Body Wash ($10* – received in PR): This was loads better than the other creamy body wash above. It has a strong jasmine scent and very creamy texture. I’m just not comfortable with how much petrolatum is in the formula. WNR
  • Clarins Exfoliating Body Scrub For Smooth Skin ($45*): This product would have been better off in a tub than a tube, but that’s a criticism for most body scrubs in general. The formula of this one is like a mask-scrub hybrid, containing tiny, sandy grains in a thick mud-like cream base. The idea is to detox and cleanse while exfoliating, but I don’t like how extensive the ingredients list is. The smell, while not offensive, was also not my favourite. For the price, it failed to impress me. WNR
  • Rance 1795 The Pretty Acacia Bianca 224B Soap ($69* – received as gift with purchase): A little drying, floral smell that has a funky barn-like odour. WNR
  • Avon Moisture Therapy Healing & Repair Body Wash ($10* – received in PR): This is gentle alright, but almost too gentle. I didn’t feel that it did anything for me, especially because it doesn’t foam or smell like anything. WNR
  • Avon Moisture Therapy Daily Skin Defense In-Shower Body Lotion ($10* – received in PR): there’s really not that much in here besides mineral oil and silicone, and that does not a therapeutic product make. It felt more like a body wash than a lotion, and did nothing to hydrate my skin. Just an extra step in the routine, like watching your cash disappear down the drain. WNR
  • St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub ($5.78*): If you’re on a budget but need a good body scrub, this will do the job. Technically it’s designed for your face, but I found it just fine for the body. It has a good balance of creamy moisturizer and fine grains that smooth and buff the skin. The smell was fruity and fresh, and for the amount of product you get, it’s a great deal. I will say I think it’s misleading to call this an apricot scrub because apricot is the second to last ingredient, and the grains are actually made from walnut shells. WR
  • Avon Skin So Soft Winter Lavender Creamy Body Wash from Collection ($18* – received in PR): I’m usually not a fan of lavender smells, but this was surprisingly yummy. It smelled a lot more expensive than the cheap packaging looks and feels. The formula was non-stripping and lathers nicely. WR
  • Avon Moisture Therapy Ultra Hydration In-Shower Body Lotion ($10* – received in PR): This was only marginally better than the Daily Skin Defense version above. It’s still filled with mineral oil, although it also contains shea butter which lends it more substance and a nutty smell. It’s still not as good as the LUSH version above. WNR
  • Chloe Love Story Body Lotion ($58* – received in gratis): This lotion does an excellent job at making skin silky soft and imparting it a soft, fresh scent. Wish it had a pump. WR
  • Estee Lauder Beautiful Bath and Shower Gelée ($50* – received in PR): This was a real pleasure to use! It has a unique coagulated gel texture, but lathers very well and is strongly scented. Loved. WR
  • Christian Dior Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet body lotion ($52* – received in gratis): Lightweight but heavily scented, leaves skin silky and soft without being sticky. Lovely! WR
  • Thierry Mugler Alien Radiant Body Cream ($86* – received as gift with purchase): I believe there are two types of people in the world: Alien fans, and those who like Angel. I’ve never met someone who equally enjoys both, and I’ve always been in the Angel camp myself. I found this cream to be a little waxy even though I was able to warm it up to an oilier consistency, and I don’t care for the tiny shimmers it leaves. But more than anything I just don’t like the smell, it’s headache inducing and sharp. Stunning packaging, of course. WNR
  • Origins Salt Incredible Spreadable Smoothing Salt Body Scrub ($38*): This isn’t so incredible, after all. The most memorable thing about this scrub is the strong cooling sensation is provides on the skin, making you feel as though you’ve been submerged in a freezer for a moment. It has a zingy minty smell, but I didn’t find it so outstanding that it warrants the price. WNR

Makeup

Makeup Empties Spring 2018

© Gil Segev 2018

  • Careline The Brushes 3 ($10*): This was a random item I purchased on one of my trips to Israel. The brand appears to be a lower-end cosmetics range, but it was the unique pointed shape of this blush brush that attracted me. I did enjoy using the brush very much, it is soft yet firm and applies blush beautifully. However, within less than a year the handle came apart from the ferrule and I can’t be bothered to glue them back together. If you don’t mind a bit of DIY then this is a good brush, but at whatever price I expect my tools to keep themselves together. WNR
  • Laura Mercier Tulip Lip Glace ($31* – received in gratis): I challenged myself to use up this gloss, but wearing it made me so unhappy that I’ve decided to simply declutter it. This gloss is too pigmented for me, it totally changes the colour of whatever liner or lipstick is underneath it. It gives less of a glossy finish and more of a creamy sheen, but with a thick texture. The colour was also just a bit too bright for my liking, and besides the cloying vanilla scent I thought the applicator was too small and dry to be efficient. It felt like it was dragging the product across my lips instead of layering it on top. Finally, I just glanced at the ingredients and saw mineral oil is the second material – hell nah, Laura Mercier! Don’t go putting this stuff on people’s lips, for goodness sake! WNR
  • Estee Lauder 3W1 Tawny Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup SPF 30 ($48* – received in PR): As someone who has never tried the original Double Wear, I’ve always wanted to try the iconic franchise but was afraid of the matte finish. Nude is the perfect solution, a dry skin-friendly version with skin conscious, hydrating ingredients, SPF 30, and a radiant finish. The foundation is usually sheer but can be built up to medium coverage. Even though it doesn’t hide everything in the skin, it somehow appears to perfect the texture and tone without looking made up. It’s more like a skin “tint” than a true foundation, if that makes sense. It doesn’t crease or break down over the day, making it perfect for everyday makeup, though for going out I would like something a bit more substantial (see: full coverage). I WISH it came with a pump, because its watery nature absorbs into the skin super quickly and half the product I pour onto the back of my hand ends up going to waste. Still, an excellent foundation and one I would like to have again! WR
  • YSL Iced Plum Volupte Sheer Candy ($40*): This formula appears to be discontinued, which is sad. I loved the heavy, shiny packaging and strong peach scent. The colour was a very pretty sheer purple-pink shade with strong sheen. The formula has vitamins and antioxidants to nourish lips. It felt oily and slick, making for a hydrated lip, but had to be reapplied often. If I could find this again I would probably repurchase. WR
  • Flower Wispy Wisteria Lip Service Lip Butter ($7*): It would appear this formula is also discontinued. Mine was waxy and not hydrating enough for my taste, and the colour was a strange red-berry shade that didn’t flatter me. Decluttered. WNR
  • Christian Dior Transparent Diorshow Brow Styler Gel ($36* – received in gratis): This has been discontinued, which is a shame because against popular opinion I liked this brow gel. It has an innovative twist-up mechanism to ensure you get 100% of your money’s worth in product, plus it doesn’t quire re-dipping your applicator and contaminating the product. I found that over a pomade it gave my brows shine and definition, and helped keep them locked in place. It is not crunchy, and doesn’t flake on me. On its own it does tend to mix with complexion makeup and give brows a “dirty” appearance. I would use this again if I had it! WR
  • Estee Lauder 110 Raw Sugar Pure Color Love Lipstick ($28* – received in PR): On my first day of trying out this lipstick the entire bullet broke off in the case and fell out – not a great first impression! I did like the colour, but when I managed to wear it I felt it was too matte and needed frequent re-application. WNR
  • Wet n Wild Never Petal Down PerfectPout Gel Lip Liner ($3.99* – received in PR): Such a great lip liner formula! Creamy yet precise and long wearing, goes with so many pink and nude shades. I want more! WR
  • Marc Jacobs Blacquer Highliner Gel Crayon ($31* – received in gratis): This took me over a year to get through, but I enjoyed every use. The gel pencil glides on the waterline effortlessly without tugging, depositing rich colour without clumps or catches. It stays on all day and night, and can be smudged with a brush before setting to create a sultry effect. I will be repurchasing this shade and trying out some others. WR
  • Caudalie Beauty Elixir ($59*): I mainly purchased this for the smell and pretty packaging, and used it as a setting spray. Only now do I realize this is filled with alcohol (second ingredient) and perfume (fourth ingredient), both irritating and damaging ingredients to skin and totally against everything Caudalie stands for. As a setting spray for makeup it does a nice job of melting together layers of powder and creams, plus it gives a refreshing cooling sensation. But for the high price I can’t justify the harmful ingredients, so I will not be repurchasing. WNR
  • Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist ($34* – received as gift with purchase): This deluxe sample came 3/4 empty, which was unimpressive and frustrating. This setting spray is all natural, made with hydrating and soothing ingredients that give it a lovely sweet rose smell with a hint of caramel. Great price, too. WR
  • Urban Decay Sin Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighter ($32* – received in gratis): This highlighter doesn’t look like much in the pan, but on the skin – wow! It’s like molten gold on the cheekbones, giving them a sculpted lift and glow. I also loved using it to brighten the inner corner and underneath my brow. My only complaint would be the lack of mirror in the compact and the small pan; although deep, its small size makes using a regular sized brush difficult. By the time I hit pan I had to use a shadow brush to get the product out. WR
  • Sephora Collection All Over Powder Brush from the Lipstick Jungle Set ($44*): After forcing myself to use this brush for a week to set foundation, I’m letting it go. The bristles are hard and scratchy, and despite multiple washes the brush continues to shed violently. This is not what I’ve come to expect from Sephora brushes. WNR
  • Wet n Wild 807 Follow Your Bisque MegaGlo Makeup Stick Concealer ($5.99* – received in PR): This creamy stick concealer has good coverage but creased a little on my skin. In a pinch it could be used as a stick foundation. I did notice that it appears darker in the tube than it does on the skin, and the cheap packaging was a turn off as the cap cracked all around on its own. There are others I prefer. WNR
  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($11.99*): This came highly recommended, but is not worth the hype in my opinion. The shape of the sponge lends itself nicely to both foundation and concealer application. The problem is it is difficult to clean, falls apart in water, and something inside it was poking my skin every time I used it – ouch! It also retains an unholy amount of product, so your fingers get covered in gunk with each application. WNR
  • Christian Dior Diorshow Maximizer 3D Lash Primer ($37* – received in gratis): I’m decluttering this item not because it’s not good, but because I never ever reach for a lash primer. I have long, curly lashes to begin with (damn Middle Eastern genes), and if I add too much product to them they look ridiculous. That said I’ve seen what this primer does for other people, and it’s amazing. If you have poor lashes, this will definitely help. I’d recommend it, but not repurchase it. WNR
  • MAC Cosmetics Brush Cleanser ($19*): This is just pure garbage. The bottle leaks and therefore has to be kept in its original box to avoid a mess. The cleanser itself works ONLY on natural-bristle brushes, specifically those intended for powder products. On any synthetic fibers and those with fluid or cream products it barely removes any product and almost ruins them. Save yourself the money, buy a cheap shampoo that does a better job. WNR
  • Guerlain 02n Light Lingerie De Peau Aqua Nude ($61* – received in PR): This is a pretty good foundation, it has light to medium coverage, SPF 20, contains skin-loving ingredients, and lasts all day without fading, creasing, or drying. It has a satin finish and comes in a plastic bottle without a pump. The colour was a good match for me in the winter. I will caution that this has an incredibly strong scent (like many Guerlain products), so if you don’t love it you’ll be miserable using it. WR
  • Nudestix Brow Wax ($28*): This is a great little product from a great little Canadian brand. This sharpening pencil contains a clear wax that you can swipe onto filled-in brows to set them in place. It is not greasy, stays in place well, and imparts the hairs a 3D effect, like hail gel. WR

Skincare

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© Gil Segev 2018

  • Bioderma Sensibio Foaming Gel ($19.90* – received as gift with purchase): I keep running into cleansers that should, in theory, foam up into some sort of lather, but end up not doing so at all! This gel doesn’t foam in water, so its name is misleading. I felt that because it doesn’t foam I needed a lot of product to properly cleanse, and when I did my face still didn’t feel clean. If this is anything like their famous micellar water, I’m not sure whether I still want to give that one a shot. WNR
  • Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift Advanced Wrinkle Reducer ($114* – received in gratis): I used this product as a serum, but didn’t see any “instant results” as advertised. This product combines hyaluronic acid with oxygen to deliver deeper hydration, or so they say. It also contains some retinol and one or two botanical extracts. For the price it’s just not that impressive, and as I mentioned I saw no difference to my skin. I thought the spray applicator was gimmicky, and the smell wasn’t that pleasant. WNR
  • Avon Skin So Soft Firm & Restore Neck & Chest Treatment Cream ($16* – received in PR): As I sit down to write this, I realize I’ve come to like it quite a bit more than I thought I did. This neck cream is really a glorified body cream with some light sunscreen protection. It hydrates with babussu and soybean oils. While it’s not going to correct any deep skin issues, it feels hydrating, non-sticky, and does give the neck a slight firming sensation. I am surprising myself here when I say that I would probably use this again! WR
  • Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Booster Serum ($99* – received as gift with purchase): Possibly one of my favourite serums EVER. It has the slippery feeling of a silicone primer without any of the nasty ingredients. In fact, it is almost entirely composed of natural juices and oils, in addition to vitamins and hyaluronic acid. It smells yummy and fresh, and leaves skin super hydrated all day long. Nothing bad to say about this, I want a full sized bottle! WR
  • Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light ($60* – received in gratis): I’ll give Josie this, she helped bring oils back onto the map after a long and unwarranted oil-free period in cosmetics. I also tip my hat at her for managing to charge people so much for what is, really, repackaged argan oil that you can purchase at any health store. If the sole ingredient in this product is argan oil as claimed, then there is no reason it should be so expensive. Now, if I put that aside, the oil itself is lovely. It has a soft texture and sits comfortably on the skin. It doesn’t make the pillowcase greasy and it doesn’t have much of a scent. It’s great on skin, hair, and the body to hydrate and nourish. However, all the benefits in the world aren’t worth so much for such a simple formula. I can’t see myself purchasing this again, though I would look into those health store options I mentioned instead. WNR
  • Christian Dior One Essential Booster Serum ($162* – received in gratis): I’ve lost count of how many bottles of this I’ve used over the years. However, this was my first of the reformulated bottles, which now offer protection from outdoors and indoors pollution and have the calming benefits of lily. The difference in the formula is practically non-perceivable, with the same pleasant aroma and milky texture. I did feel that this version is a bit more hydrating, although of course I would still recommend a follow-up serum and cream. I’m taking a short break from One Essential to use up other boosters, but will definitely be coming back. WR
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser ($15* – received in gratis): Gentle, non-stripping, and lathers gently to help remove makeup. My skin feels cleaner after using it, even though like any cleanser it doesn’t remove everything and should be followed up with a good toner on a pad. I like that it’s made from 12 essential oils and has a light aroma, and for the price you can’t beat the massive bottles this is offered in. I would perhaps use it for a first rinse before going in with a stronger cleanser. WR
  • Avon Anew Ultimate Day Multi-Performance Cream ($39* – received in PR): This would have been a decent day cream with SPF 25 if it didn’t smell so offensive. I can’t pinpoint what the smell is, but its bitterness lasts on the skin and made applying it unpleasant. Otherwise it is a thick, creamy cream that hydrates well while protecting skin. Its ingredients are not stellar by any means, but it’s really the scent that kills it for me. WNR
  • StriVectin Wrinkle Recode Line Transforming Melting Serum ($99* – received as gift with purchase): Smells, looks, and feels like molten plastic. Super disappointing formula. WNR
  • Wet n Wild Makeup Remover ($14.99* – received in PR): Fifteen bucks is far too much to ask for this product, especially from this brand – at half the price it would be more appealing. It does an okay job at removing face makeup without being oily or stripping, but it doesn’t do an effective job on the eyes. The pump is faulty and leaks oily residue all over the bottle, making for an unpleasant experience. WNR
  • The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Pre-Shave Oil ($31* – received in PR): This product is designed to minimize razor burn, but a thick shaving cream does the same thing. Since I prefer the latter, this has no place in my routine. WNR
  • Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate ($116* – received as gift with purchase): I don’t know whether this product launched before or after Dior’s One Essential, but it’s not hard to find similarities. Both claim to boost the performance of targeted treatments and creams, and they even have similar red packaging. However, that’s where the similarities end, because unlike One Essential, Ultimune has nothing to back up its claims. Its formula has more fragrance, alcohol, and silicone than beneficial ingredients. The few natural components it does contain have no relation to the brightening and softening claims, nor boosting other products. While the serum itself feels silky, its texture is little consolation for a truly underwhelming product. I would say you can safely walk past this one. WNR
  • Jeffree Star Cosmetics Root Beer Lip Scrub ($12*): I feel pretty good about putting this scrub to my lips because it has a clean, simple formula. You get a lot of product for your money, and the smell is true root beer – so fun and yummy! The scrub is more abrasive at first since the oils tend to sink to the bottom of the jar, so perhaps give yours a good shake or store it upside down if you want a more even distribution. The packaging was my only complaint, the lettering and decorative stars wore off and ended up looking cheap. That said, I have five more different scents in my collection and am looking forward to testing them and collecting more! WR
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple Moisturizer ($34* – received in gratis): no idea how and why this hasn’t gone viral yet. This is so good for so cheap! Oils, antioxidants, and minerals in a light, creamy, hydrating lotion with the gentle scent of Purity cleanser. Even better, it comes in a 100 mL bottle with pump! Can’t beat it. Would love to see a version with SPF. WR
  • Peter Thomas Roth Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask ($71.87* – received in gratis): This appears to be discontinued now. While the tub is massive and the brand makes some interesting claims, there’s just nothing exciting about any of it. The mask has no smell, no colour, and the texture of jelly. It hydrates a little, but not enough to be worth the price. WNR
  • Biotherm Aquasource Everplump ($64* – received as gift with purchase): This was a nice lightweight gel formula with a fresh lemon scent. It felt hydrating but not thick, maybe better for the summer months. What gets me is that Biotherm claims this has twice as many active ingredients as their regular Aquasource, which makes me wonder why they would continue selling it? I mean, if you have two products, and one is two times better, why sell the lesser option to your clients? It makes no sense. The formula is fairly basic, with only a few “skin loving ingredients,” as the brand would say. I think which Aquasource you should pick ultimately comes down to texture preference, and like I said I would prefer this lighter version in the warmer months. WR
  • Clarins Extra-Firming Day ($88* – received as gift with purchase): This formula isn’t terribly composed, but it certainly doesn’t firm or deserve such a high price. It features the same oat extract that Clarins uses in its firming neck cream, which should have been an indication to me because I don’t care for the latter, either. Beyond not firming, I didn’t feel that the cream penetrated hard or long enough, though it smells nice. Props for a “naturally inspired” formula, but points off for no substance. WNR
  • Philosophy Time in a Bottle for Eyes Daily Age-Defying Eye Serum ($65* – received in gratis): I actually liked this serum better as a daytime eye cream than under a cream. It feels smoothing and hydrating. The formula contains quite a bit of stable vitamin C and antioxidants, but I can’t honestly say I saw a difference to my dark circles. What surprised me was just how quickly I went through it, I finished the bottle in a month and a week, using one pump twice a day. So, despite everything I like about it, because the main claims regard brightening and smoothing, I can’t say it does what it says. WNR
  • Vichy LiftActiv Supreme Normal/Combination Skin ($49.50* – received as gift with purchase): This is actually a really intriguing and scientifically-backed formula. It has a thick texture that’s a little difficult to spread, but wasn’t hydrating enough for me – would be interested in trying the dry-skin version instead, or perhaps the SPF15 version. It gives a glowing, blurring effect to the skin and acts to firm. WR
  • Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart Double Action Detox Peel Off Mask ($98* – received as gift with purchase): I could not believe the price of this product – nearly $100 for a peeling mask? No, thank you! I’ve never been a fan of peel masks to begin with, because I don’t believe you can get real skincare benefits from something you rip off your face after 20 minutes. This mask did help with pore size, but I can’t imagine splurging that much for minimal results. I found it much more effective to wash this rather than peel it, and you need a massive quantity of the product to form an even layer in the first place. WNR
  • Shu Uemura Ultime8 Cleansing Oil ($49* – received as gift with purchase): This oil does the job, but I still can’t find the ingredients deck online and that makes me angry. WNR
  • Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm ($80* – received in gratis): Very thick texture, yet melts into skin easily and is very hydrating. Smells weird but loaded with good for you ingredients. Lasts forever. WR
  • Christian Dior One Essential City Defense SPF 50 ($74* – received in gratis): The only sunscreen I will ever use! Thin yet hydrating texture with incredible UVA/UVB protection, lovely smell, and opalescent brightening finish. It protects the skin not only from the sun but also pollution. LOVE! WR
  • St. Tropez Gradual Tan Luminous Glow Face ($44* – received as gift with purchase): I’ve always been afraid of self-tanning products, but this was a pleasant surprise. It has nice skincare ingredients and a light creamy texture, but it was the colour it gave me that really impressed. It made my face look like I’d spent a week on the beach by bringing out the golden tones I naturally have in my skin. The only thing I’d caution about this product is that you MUST blend it onto the neck to get an even tan. This would be really good for somebody whose face is naturally lighter than their body, or if you want to prolong a tan. I can see myself using this in the winter to give my face some warmth without worrying about blending the colour with the body. WR
  • Algenist Power Advanced Wrinkle Fighter Moisturizer ($108* – received in gratis): Another smelly Algenist product to add to my Dislike List… This has a whipped texture and feels hydrating, but WHY do all their products smell so bad?! WNR
  • Korres Black Pine 3D Sculpting, Firming & Lifting Super Eye Serum ($84* – received as gift with purchase): This is an amazing eye serum. Hydrating and lifting, made with lots of natural ingredients. Innovative packaging, too. The one thing is, be careful not to put it too close to the lash line as it will transfer and sting your eyes. WR
  • Farmacy Firming Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask ($32* – received as gift): Have to be honest, this wasn’t my favourite. I’m not a sheet mask guy to begin with because I think they’re wasteful and expensive for what they do, and this was just alright. It did impart the skin with this soft-focus filter effect, like it’s been softened and melted a bit (sounds weird, I know). But for the price I think you’re better off getting a proper mask that last more than three uses. WNR
  • Avon Anew Platinum Firm and Sculpt Cream for Neck and Chest ($45* – received in PR): The company was nice enough to specially send out a replacement jar after I wrote my last glowing review, and I’ve loved it the second time around just as much. This thick, creamy cream moisturizes and firms the skin, making it feel supple and supported. It has intriguing ingredients and can often be purchased on sale, if the price seems steep. Hey Avon – wouldn’t mind another replacement, wink wink! WR
  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II ($86* – received in PR): Alright, I have to retract my last statements about this product, because this second (and third!) bottles changed my mind. I’ve grown to like the smell a lot, it’s like light beer with citrus. The texture always glides on like a dream, and now that we’re out of the deep freeze season it’s hydrating enough after all. I’ll be making an effort to use my bottles up in the warmer months. The third bottle did have a malfunctioning dropper which broke off entirely, but I remedied it by capping the bottle with plastic wrap. WR
  • Boscia Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask ($45* – received in gratis): This product has been hyped up for over a year, but I think the peel-off mask trend is finally dying down (thank goodness!). I’ve always favoured traditional potted masks over these and sheet types, primarily due to the long wait times involved. I’m a shower masker, so washing, drying, masking, and then washing again seems like a terrible amount of work for what should be a relaxing experience. Anyways, despite the 45 minute wait time involved with this particular mask, I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. Despite the name, I didn’t find it illuminates the skin very much. The main difference in my skin was the tightening of pores, thanks to witch hazel, rosemary, and a lot of clay. In that sense this isn’t much different from many clay-based masks on the market, minus the peeling gimmick. I don’t typically care that much about my pores, so while I think this isn’t terrible, it’s also not something I would purchase and use again. WNR
  • Chanel Blue Serum ($140*): Ever since I discovered (and fell in love with) Dior’s One Essential, I’ve become hooked on boosters. I mean, why use one serum when you can use two?! This is Chanel’s version of a booster, though it can easily stand alone as a one-step serum (unlike Dior’s). The whole premise is that Chanel took three ingredients from three of the world’s four “blue zones,” where people live longer, to use in this serum. The idea, it would seem, is that if you topically apply what these people eat, your skin will reap the benefits… or something like that. The key ingredients are coffee (rich in antioxidants and rejuvenating for the skin), olive oil (moisturizing and nourishing), and lentisk, a type of berry with supposed dietary benefits. I’m not convinced that there’s any science behind these claims, but the booster felt smoothing and hydrating, and didn’t smell nearly as offensive as most Chanel skincare products. I went through it far too quickly, largely due to my personal too-liberal application fault, but I wouldn’t mind using it again after testing some more boosters. WR
  • Avon Skinvincible Day Lotion ($36* – received in PR): This is an excellent day cream, especially considering the low price. It contains antioxidants, natural humectants, retinol and broad-spectrum SPF 50 for ultimate protection. It feels light yet moisturizing on the skin, doesn’t leave a white cast and has no scent. Best, it comes in a pump! Tens across the board! WR
  • Avon True Color Moisturizing Eye Make-Up Remover Lotion ($4* – received in PR): Affordable and effective at removing eye and face makeup, but FILLED with mineral oil and petrolatum and difficult to remove. I’d rather spend some cash than use these highly contested ingredients on my skin. WNR
  • Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Toner ($25*): An affordable toner with good ingredients for combo-dry skin, helps to balance and hydrate with a fresh scent. WR
  • Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet ($48* – received in gratis): A pretty boring and mundane moisturizer. Lightweight, has a grassy sort of scent. A few interesting ingredients, but nothing extraordinary for the price. WNR
  • Caryl Baker Visage SatinKiss Lip Conditioner ($23* – received in PR): This was a decent lip balm, it lasted forever and I got tired of it by the end. It has little shimmers but goes on clear, and provides okay hydration overnight. Don’t like it for the day, it can feel like it’s dragging on the lips. Generic vanilla scent. WNR
  • La Roche Posay Reactive Micellar Solution ($19.95* – received as gift with purchase): La Roche’s range confuses me so much that I can’t be sure I’ve linked the correct product or that I even used it correctly. I used it like a toner, and found it too drying. WNR
  • Guerlain Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil ($125* – received in PR): I could rave about this product for days! This has got to be the lightest oil texture I’ve known to date, yet it hydrates with the best of them. It contains honey and royal jelly, which are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and superbly healing for the skin. Breakouts heal better with it, dryness feel soothed with it, and the skin gains a sort of soft radiance without a greasy residue. Can’t say enough good things about this, I will be repurchasing the larger size. 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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