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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Decluttering Old Makeup

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me.
I'm in the midst of doing a makeup inventory, which led to decluttering some of my older makeup items or items that may not be so old but have started to smell a bit off. I also decluttered duplicates of mini-sized items and kept the one that was in the best shape, which is way I'm letting go of a perfectly good Laura Geller highlighter. I'll provides links to original reviews if they are available.
Some of these items are favorites, including the no longer available In the Know eyeshadow palette (review here) by stila  It's 6 years old however, and even though it still smells fine, I decided it was time to let it go.  It helps that I recently purchased the Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping palette, which has a nice range of neutral shades that can fill this void.
I got some decent use from this contour kit in light/medium from ISH, which I acquired from a  FabFitFun box.  I particularly liked the bronzer shade, but it has started to smell bad so it's time to go.
Another face/blush palette that had started to smell off was the Makeup Revolution Golden Sugar 2 Rose Gold palette (review here).  I'm not sure what the shelf life on this one is, but I had it for maybe 1.5 years, so it may indeed have expired. I do view brands such as Makeup Revolution to be more disposable due to their low cost, as it's relatively painless to replace items if you truly want to.  I will not pick up another one of this palette, but it's largely due to the overflow of makeup items I already own as opposed to not liking it.
The Let's Dance Harmony palette by Sephora is beautiful and no longer available (review here), but I never used it and it is OLD.  So, I let it go.  The picture below is from when it was brand spanking new, but I really had not make much progress on it at all.
There were two newer items that I tossed because I never fell in love with them.  One was the Catrice highlighting powder in Champagne Campaign, which just did not do it for me as a highlighter. Something about it seemed more dusty/chalky and it did not meld with my skin the way I want a highlighter to do.  The other item was a deluxe-sized sample of a bareMinerals blush in Lola that I received in their 2016 advent calender (review here).  It was not a shade I was going to wear, so it got decluttered.
The other five items were all blushes that had started to smell off.  The Cargo blush in Bali (review here) is such a pretty and rather unique shade, so I was sad to discover it had gone bad.  However, it was at least 4 years old, so it's time was well past.  All of the pictures below are from when the items were new.
The NYX blush in Soft Apricot (review here) was a good everyday kind of color for me, and was another item that was at least 4 years old.
I never fell in love with ColourPop's blushes and highlighters in the Super Shock formula, so Tasty did not see much use from me.  I cannot tell that Tasty has gone bad and the Super Shock formula does not dry out in my experience as much as it seem to for other people (benefits of a super humid climate?), but I just don't reach for this so it's out. Tasty is pictured new on the left below.
My Essence blush in Babydoll, which I don't believe I have reviewed. was a soft pink that I really liked but it's not smelling the best. I'm not sure how long I've had it, perhaps less then 2 years?  Fortunately, Essence is another super affordable brand that I view as disposable and easily replaceable due to their low cost.  In fact, I just placed an order yesterday at Ulta for some of Essence's new items from their fall collection. 
The last blush that had gone bad was a deluxe sample size of Two Faced's Your Love is King (review here).  This was not a color that saw much use from me, and the other two items from that set are still smelling okay, although they are 3 years old.  Probably expired as well.  I tend to go through my collection about twice year to check for items that have gone bad, and each time it reinforces to me that I need to focus more on using up what I have as opposed to purchasing new items.  Hence the makeup inventory, which I'll probably do a post about soon. While I do still purchase new makeup items occasionally, it will typically be from less expensive (and thus more dispoable) brands and/or from really good sales.  For now at least, that's my strategy :-)

Friday, February 2, 2018

#365 Days of Samples: Vol. 22

Time to get back to my #365 Days of Samples series, where I randomly select from my overflowing sample box 7-10 items to use up in the next few weeks. I learned about this series from Elle S on YouTube, and find that it's a great way to steadily work through all those foil and deluxe samples I've accumulated. 
Items included in this go-around::

  1. Green Tea Milk Wash Cream Cleanser by Farmhouse Fresh (foil)
  2. Face Wash Powder by DHC (foil)
  3. Daily Exfoliating Towelette by Blum Naturals (1 towelette)
  4. Si Eau de Parfume by Giorgio Armani Beauty (spray vial)
  5. Prep-n-Glow Cleanse+Exfoliate+Hydrate by Nuface (1 towelette)
  6. Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer by Ole Henriksen (deluxe sample)
  7. Sweet Cream Body Milk by Farmhouse Fresh (foil)
  8. Fluffy Bunny Shea Butter for Body by Farmhouse Fresh (foil)
  9. Marula Oil by John Paul Selects (vial)
  10. Coconut Milk and Honey Nourishing Exotic Oil by Pure Fiji (deluxe sample)

I do want to update you on a few of the items from previous volumes, as I either decluttered or used them up:
  • L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (deluxe sample): finished, mainly by using it at night before bed time.  Not something I would purchase, as I have other hand creams I like better.
  • fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Face Mask (foil sample):  I liked this!  It is supposed to boost the vibrancy of skin with it's proprietary vitamin fruit complex of vitamins, citrus fruit extracts, and minerals.  One use was not enough to see results and the $62 a jar price tag will keep me from purchasing, but I enjoyed the sample!
  • Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave In Conditioner (foil sample):  Did a good job of detangling and smoothing my hair.  I've got an abundance of these foil samples so am in no hurry to purchase.
  • boscia Purifying White Charcoal Mattifying Treatment Primer (deluxe sample):  still working on this one.
  • DHC Facial Scrub (foil sample):  a micro-bead free gentle facial scrub that uses apricot seeds.  It was nice, but not especially memorable.
  • Double Take Baked Powder Foundation by Laura Geller (deluxe sample): I used to love this stuff, but find it looks too powdery/cakey on my skin now.  Ah, the joys of aging skin.
  • bareMinerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion Serum (deluxe sample):  a nice serum, but I'm swimming in serums/skincare at the moment.
  • Japonesque Pro Performance Makeup Wipes (foil, 1 wipe): got the job done, but not something I feel compelled to seek out.
  • Sonoma Scent Studio's Fig Tree (vial sample):  not my favorite of the Sonoma Scent Studio samples I acquired a while back, but not an offensive fragrance either.  Just not for me.
  • Ulta Beauty Mattifying Balm (deluxe sample):  Threw it out after a few tries, never going to use it.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ulta Love Your Skin Event PSA: Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C+ Serum

Just a PSA that the Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C+ Serum is half-priced today ($59 vs. the regular price of $118).  I'm a fan of this vitamin C serum, but refuse to pay the full price.  I originally discovered the GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C+ Serum last year during Ulta's Love Your Skin event, and after using the full sized bottle I do think it made a difference in how my skin looked.  
I took advantage of some sample offers on the serum that Sephora was running to tide me over once I used up my bottle, so this offer could not come at a better time!  You can see my full review on the GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C+ Serum here.  Ulta also has a skincare sampler GWP offer, although I needed to add something to my bag in order to hit the $70 trigger point. 
Ulta has two skincare box bundles of deluxe sized samples that are currently half price, and I got this one. Considering I also purchased the Bioassance Weightless Hydration Essentials set this week from Sephora in order to take advantage of their 2X points for skincare purchases plus a sample bag,  I should be set all year now!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Atelier Advent Calendar Days 9 and 10: Santal Carmin and Cédrat Enivrant

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Happy New Year everyone!  I had a really nice holiday break (two weeks off from work), which I spent alternately resting and cleaning/decluttering my house.  Consequently, no blog posts happened.  I still want to finish reviewing the Atelier colognes from their advent calendar however, so I'm going too :-)  Hopefully someone will find it useful.  Day 9 of the calendar brought a sample of Santal Carmin, which seems to be marketed more towards men.
I found it to be one that I would be happy to wear however, so it's definitely more unisex than masculine, IMO.  Santal Carmin showcases lime and sandalwood, with a complete notes list of:

  • Top notes: bergamot from Calabria, limette from Mexico, saffron from India
  • Middles notes: sandalwood from New Caledonia, gaiac wood from India, white musk
  • Base notes: papyrus from India, cedarwood from Texas, vanilla from Madagascar

Launched in 2014, Santal Carmin is also one of the more expensive colognes in the brand, with a 30 ml bottle running $115. Perhaps that's because it's part of the Haute Couture (powerful, rare, precious) line of colognes.  It's classifiend as a woody Oriental, and while it is warmer than many of the Atelier colognes, it still manages to register as fresh/light as opposed to what I envision when I see a fragrance described as Oriental.  I can't say I would invest in a bottle, but I do like it and will happily use up the sample.
Day 10 featured a sample of Cedrat Enivrant, which I found to be a bracing and cheerful scent with it's emphasis on lime and cedrat, which is another variety of citrus fruit. 

  • Top notes: Moroccan cedrat, lime from Mexico, bergamot from Calabria
  • Middle notes: mint from China, basilic from Egypt, juniper berries from Macedonia
  • Base notes: tonka bean from Brazil, vetiver from Haiti, elemi from Philippines

The French 75 cocktail (champagne, gin, lemon juice) is mentioned in the scent description, and I think the juniper berry does give it that hint of gin with it's trace of bitterness.  Cédrat Enivrant also had more oomph and lasting power for me, and I think the fact that it was cold and snowy when I was testing it made me enjoy it even more.  It was a nice antidote to the biting cold which set in through most of December, and Mobile even got a light dusting of snow.  I just felt happy when I put this cologne on, and would consider purchasing a larger size of this one.
We had a brief warm up yesterday to almost 70 degrees, but it's back to bone-chilling temps tonight.  I swear it feels colder down here when the temps fall - I think because it's so damp/humid.  Bundle up everybody!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Atelier Cologne Advent Calendar Days 7 and 8: Vanille Insensee and Silver Iris

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Day 7 of the Atelier advent calendar brings a sample vial of Vanille Insensee, which ranks right up there with Orange Sanguine as one of my favorites of the brand. It's definitely not your typical vanilla fragrance, and I would recommend getting a sample before buying to see how it sits on you.   
I blind bought a gift set of Vanille Insensee from Birchbox almost five years ago, and fortunately have grown to love it (you can read my original review here). I'm only about an inch down on the bottle, but this is one of the Atelier colognes that has both impact and staying power for me, so a few spritz's are plenty. 
This is also one of the few of Atelier's colognes where I like the dry down better than the opening notes. I find it complex and intriguing, to the point where I regularly sniff my wrists to breath it in. It has an incense like quality to it that took me past my initial ambivalence to the opening sharpness of the lime and coriander notes. I find it wears equally well in either hot or cold weather, and I also love how it smells on my clothes.
Source: Atelier Cologne

  • Top notes: coriander from Russia, cedrat from Italy, cedar from Mexico
  • Middle notes:jasmine from Egypt, Haitian vetiver, oakmoss from Slovenia
  • Base notes: vanilla from Madagascar, oakwood from England, amber
Day 8 brings a sample vial of Silver Iris, which I find very different from some of the more citrus top note heavy sister colognes. Tangerine is one of the top notes, but I wouldn't have known that if I had not read the note lists.

  • Top notes: tangerine from Italy, pink pepper from China, black current from Burgandy
  • Middle notes: violet leaves from Grasse, iris Pallida from Tuscany, mimosa from Grasse
  • Base notes: patchouli from Indonesia, white amber, tonka bean from Brazil

Source: Atelier Cologne
Launched in 2013, Silver Iris opens with a scent that my nose identifies as pepper + cardboard. Not exactly promising, but the papery pepper vibe quickly gives way to something more smooth and powdery (reminiscent of lipstick/cosmetics), which I'm guessing are the middle notes of violet leaves combined with the iris Pallida. I saw plenty of reviewers who said they found Silver Iris to be both dry and sweet, but to my nose it registers more on the dry/cool end of the spectrum. I like it enough to finish the sample, but it does not sing to me enough to want to invest in a larger size. Still, it's a nice palette cleanser in the sea of citrus I've been wearing lately :-)

Friday, December 15, 2017

Atelier Cologne Advent Calendar Days 6 and 11: Clémentine California and Mandarine Glaciale

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Day 6 of Atelier Cologne's advent calendar brings me a happy scent that was particularly welcomed on the rainy, cold day I opened it: Clémentine California. Some days are so dreary that you need something sunny for counterbalance, especially when you can't just curl up with a book in bed.
Dreary day
Clémentine California was launched in 2016 and is new to me, and the scent story on this one features vibrant orange and turquoise colors which draw me in. I also like that this story is not about star crossed lovers, although I have the feeling that a romance between the director and woman he sees is inevitable....
Source: Atelier Cologne

  • Top notes: clementine from California, mandarin from Italy, juniper berries from Macedonia
  • Middle notes: star anise from China, sichuan pepper from China, basil from Egypt
  • Base notes: vetiver from Haiti, sandalwood from New Caledonia, cypress from France
Clémentine California is a cheerful scent that opens with a burst of mandarin and clementine that is reminiscent of both the pulp and skin of both fruits. I get a feeling of warmth from this one, and while the opening notes do not last long enough for my taste, it's my favorite of the two mandarin based colognes from Atelier. The other one, Mandarine Glaciale, goes tinny and sharp on me almost immediately. 
Which is a shame, because I now have two of the sample bottles in Mandarine Glaciale, having obtained one somewhere along the way earlier.  I'll have to find some way to use them up (maybe as a spray air freshener), as this one just does not sit well on my skin.

  • Top notes: mandarin from Calabria, lemon from Sicily, bergamot from Calabria
  • Middle notes: ginger from China, jasmine from Egypt, petitgrain from Paraguay
  • Base notes: heart of vetiver from Haiti, oakmoss from Slovenia, white amber
I'm not sure what notes are going wrong on me, because I love the smell of ginger and jasmine, although I saw some descriptions of this ginger as being like the dry, dusty ginger found in Chinese herbal shops.   This is indeed dry and dusty, and the petitgrain which is derived from the leaves and twigs of the bitter orange plant lends a green and woodsy scent almost from the get go, making it one of Atelier's fragrances which leans decidedly more masculine in it's composition, IMO. The staying power of Mandarine Glaciale is a bit longer than Clémentine California, becoming a skin scent on me after 4-5 hours.  
Source: Atelier Cologne
Mandarine Glaciale is all chill to Clémentine California's warmth.  If Clémentine California only had more oomph and staying power, it would have captured my heart.  But alas, it is not to be.