Empties #2: Skin + Hair Edition

Welcome to my second empties post! In case you’re new to the beauty blogging world, an empties post is where I gather up all of the products I’ve used up (“emptied”) in the past several months and write my final thoughts about them. This post is entirely skincare or haircare products, because that’s what I use the most of. These are the products that I finished off in the last few weeks of school. And so…

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Five Little Things: This Week in New Products

  • I attended a formal event last weekend, and I took the opportunity to wear a lipstick that used to be my favorite but that I haven’t worn in ages — probably because I haven’t had anywhere suitable to wear it to! Meet L’Oréal’s Lip Accents Crème in Paradise Plum. It actually still is my favorite lipstick for being fancy. So this isn’t actually a new product, but just something that feels new because I haven’t worn it in so long.

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  • I’ve been using my new Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask as an overnight lip treatment, and it’s been wonderful. My lips have never felt so moisturized!

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  • I picked up the fairly new VO5 Shine, Glow, & Go Beauty Oil at the grocery store last week, and since then I’ve been using it twice a day. It takes longer to soak in than my body lotions, but so far I’ve been loving it anyway! I think it’ll be especially great for summer.

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Empties #1

Welcome to my first empties post! In case you’re new to the beauty blogging world, an empties post is where I gather up all of the products I’ve used up (“emptied”) in the past several months and write my final thoughts about them. I’ve thought quite a bit about how to organize this, but since this is my first one it’s still going to be a work in progress! This post is entirely skincare products, because that’s what I use the most of. And so…

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CVS Haul (May)

This was my first drugstore trip after arriving in a new city for the summer, and so I needed to buy all of the necessities that I hadn’t brought with me.

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The three most basic necessities for me are shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. I use VO5 shampoo because I like the way it smells and it only costs 89¢ back home (here it was on sale for 75¢). My all-important conditioner is Pantene. I haven’t noticed much difference between the different types of Pantene conditioners, so I usually just go with one labelled smoothing or anti-breakage. For body wash, I like a basic good-smelling scrub, like this St. Ives apricot scrub. This trio is something I really haven’t experimented with at all – I found something that works in each category while I was a teenager, and I’ve stuck with it for 5 years. Maybe I should experiment more in this area, but it’s something I haven’t had the courage to do yet.

Once I had my basics taken care of, I shopped around a bit, looking for some new products. It’s summer, I’m in a new place, and I have a paycheck. Why not try some new things?

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Bioré | Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser $1.99 /1 oz.

Lumene | Pure Radiance Night Cream $4.39 / 0.5 oz.

I picked up these two products purely because they came in sample sizes. I brought a cleanser with me and so I didn’t really need another full one, and I’ve never bought a night cream before so I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for.

The Bioré cleanser is really nice. At first I wasn’t fond of the smell, but after using it a few times I started to like it. It smells very clean, with just a touch of earthy charcoal. And it definitely cleans my skin well! I like it, and I’ll consider getting some more when this one runs out (although it doesn’t seem like it’s going to anytime soon). However, in the last 2-3 days I’ve found that it causes a little bit of a burning sensation on my skin, although it’s a cleaning-feeling burning sensation. I have pretty sensitive skin, and up to this point I’d only been using it every other day or so. I think my increased usage this week is what caused it to suddenly seem too strong.

I’m more on the fence about the Lumene night cream. The smell is pretty strong, but luckily I like it – it’s reminiscent of oranges. The cream is thick, and both feels and looks a little greasy when I apply it. But by the time I go to bed the greasiness has mostly subsided, and when I wake up my skin feels good. It’s definitely pretty moisturizing. The sample is also a great size – I’ve been using it every night for 2 weeks and I still have about ¾ of the pot left.

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Freeman | Facial Clay Mask, Avocado & Oatmeal

Freeman | Facial Anti-Stress Mask, Dead Sea Minerals

This brand of masks was on sale, 2 for $7, so I decided to try some out. I’d never used a clay mask before, so I selected one of those. I chose the anti-stress mask because, given my lifestyle, it seemed like a useful product to try. I don’t know if either one of them actually works. I enjoy applying them, and they feel nice while they’re on my face, but I can’t tell if they’re making a difference to my skin.

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Neutrogena | Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 45

Something to know about me: I don’t like sunscreen very much. I don’t really like the smell, I hate the constant feeling of being coated in a layer of thick lotion, and I dislike the feeling of it on my hands after I’ve applied it. I’ve been using this particular brand of sunscreen for a few years now, and it’s the best I’ve found (except for perhaps the Supergoop! sunscreen that I received in my May Birchbox). This sunscreen is light enough for me to forget I’m wearing it, and its lotiony texture helps it rub into the skin more easily, with less residue. I prefer the SPF 30 because it’s even lighter, but I didn’t think it would give me enough protection with the amount I’ll be outside this summer.