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As you might recall, back in December I discovered that I would actually reach for largely used-up products if I placed them in on my bathroom counter and had to see them each day. It worked so well, in fact, that I did it in January and February, and will continue doing so. As a result of this new system, I managed to use up a nice pile of full size products in February. Here is what I used:
For the Face:
1) Koh Gen Do Pure Cotton Pads ($12.00 for a pack of 60 from Barneys New York, Nordstrom, B-Glowing and Sephora): Best invention since sliced bread, seriously! These are, hands down, the best cotton pads that I have ever used. They are soft and thick, and ultra effective.
Made from cotton that has not been chemically treated, bleached, or pigmented, these medical-grade cotton pads easily come apart in layers when wet, allowing more surface use when removing makeup or saturating it with a toner or skin lotion for a mini facial. The extra thickness and durability add a soft cushion for those with sensitive skin.
The cotton used for this product was raised without the use of chemical fertilizer or pesticides to ensure pure, safe, superb quality.
2) Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes ($5.99 from Drugstore.com, Walgreens, Ulta and Target): I am a huge proponent of cleansing towelettes, and I absolutely love the ones from Burt's Bees. These are super gentle on the skin and are perfect to remove makeup on those nights when you are too tired for your whole skincare routine. They are also my go-to during swatchfests since they are so gentle, and they remove every stitch of makeup without irritating my skin.
3) The Organic Pharmacy Antioxidant Face Firming Serum ($160.00 from Barneys New York and Selfridges. Reviewed HERE): I love this antioxidant-rich anti-aging oil so much that I have already purchased another one. First, it must be said that this beautiful oil has the intoxicating scent of Sweet Orange- therefore upon application you are assured of a magnificent and visceral sensory experience. This brilliant concoction boasts a high concentration of the powerful Alpha Lipoic Acid, a known powerful antioxidant, that helps to prevent cell damage by scavenging free-radicals. The high concentration of Rose Hip Oil is rich in transretinoic acid and essential fatty acids, and is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and also helps to reduce scarring over time. Sweet Orange helps prevent capillary fragility, and Carrots are rich in Beta Carotene (part of the Vitamin A family), and are rich antioxidants that protects the skin against free-radicals. Lemon (Citrus Limonum) lifts, tones and exfoliates the skin, and does so in an immediately visible way. This is also to say nothing of the fact that my skin is left soft, supple, and deeply moisturized and hydrated.
This combination of ingredients, along with those that I didn't enumerate, create a powerful cocktail that has visibly changed the texture and clarity of my skin. There is a notable lifting effect in that my expression lines are radically softened, and my skin has an unprecedented radiance and clarity. I would describe this oil as one that stimulates circulation because my skin has the type of radiance that is not superficial, but one instead that causes my skin to have a rosy radiance as though lit from within.
4) Reviva Labs Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($18.69-$21.99 from Ulta, Beauty Encounter and GNC. Reviewed HERE): Used alone the Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a fantastic moisture booster that can be used in conjunction with your daily moisturizer. It restores comfort and moisture to the skin while simultaneously plumping fine lines. The difference is quite remarkable.
5) Asbury Apothecary Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cream ($40.00 for 4 oz. Reviewed HERE): I am always on the lookout for great exfoliators to share with you, and now have another to add the list of worthy contenders. Asbury Apothecary Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cream is an exceedingly effective exfoliator that removes dead skin cells, unclogs congested pores, and leaves skin velvety soft, smooth and hydrated. It boasts a dense concentration of tiny exfoliating particles, and it is so effective that it requires only the very lightest hand to achieve outstanding results.
6) Bare Love Face Luxury Skin Fuel Night-Time Recovery Treatment ($58.00 from Birchbox. Reviewed HERE): It looks and feels like a gel, but behaves like an oil as it effortlessly melts into the skin. It has the intoxicating and delectable scent of Vanilla Planifolia that is both comforting and pleasant. As with all face oils, I massage this one into freshly cleaned skin that it still warm and damp. This not only assures that it penetrates deeper into the skin, but also is far more economical because this method requires far less product. While one pump is recommended, I find that I need far less for my face, neck and décolleté.
7) TATCHA Radiant Deep Brightening Serum ($ from TATCHA and Barneys New York. Reviewed HERE): This lovely serum hydrates and brightens the skin, and gives it an overall evenness in tone. I absolutely love this serum.
A hydrating, brightening serum powered by time-tested Asian botanicals to bring color clarity and radiance to the skin. Contains licorice root, jujuba, scutellaria and silk extracts as well as squalane and HADASEI-3 Bioactive Complex, a proprietary blend of rice bran, green tea and red algae extract.
Formulated without mineral oil, synthetic color, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, parabens, PEGs, PPGs, urea, DEA, TEA or phthalates. Ideal for combination skin.
8) Radical Skincare Eye Revive Cream ($125.00 from Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Space NK, Skin Store, Bloomingdale's and Harrods. Reviewed HERE): As I have said time and again- I am very discriminating when it comes to what I want and need in an eye cream. I want a deeply nourishing and hydrating eye cream that decreases the appearance of dark circles, that reduced puffiness on the days that I don't sleep enough, and that keeps fine lines at bay. To complicate my list of needs further, I prefer an eye cream lighter in texture that can stand up against the richest eye creams with respect to performance. I also don't want it to have petrolatum and mineral oil together at the top the the list of ingredients because that combination is the perfect storm for giving me milia.
Radical Skincare Eye Revive Cream leaves my delicate eye area nourished, moisturized, free of dark circles, free of puffiness, the skin is taut, the fine lines are radically reduced, and there is an unprecedented clarity. Furthermore, no milia whatsoever!
9) Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser ($26.00 from Sephora and Skin Store): I only had the one sample packet to try, but I managed to get several uses out of it and really liked it a lot. Enough, in fact, that I am contemplating buying a tube! I tried it will my FOREO LUNA and it worked wonderfully. It has a lovely creamy lather that isn't in the least bit drying!
10) Bodycology Moroccan Sunset Moisturizing Body Wash (Reviewed HERE): This is a non-stripping moisturizing cleanser that leaves the skin soft and thoroughly cleansed. It has a warm fruity floral scent that makes the whole bathroom smell great.
The sensual fragrance of sweet passionfruit and blooming hibiscus flowers leave you feeling exotic and inspired. Our ultra moisturizing body wash is formulated with Shea Butter & Vitamin E to keep skin feeling hydrated and irresistably smooth.
11) Maple Holistics Argan Special Formula Shampoo (Reviewed HERE): This is a very gentle moisturizing shampoo that thoroughly cleanses hair without stripping it, and without leaving a heavy greasy film behind. The blend of six oils used (Argan, Peach Kernel, Jojoba, Avocado, Camellia Seed and Almond) nourish, condition and moisturize the scalp and hair– leaving it manageable and tangle free. It has a subtle, light and warm scent that is a fusion of the six oils in conjunction with the honey and vanilla, but it isn't in the least overpowering. This nourishing formula is a good choice for all types of hair, and if is gentle enough for people with dry hair. My naturally curly hair is softer and is less prone to frizziness since I began using this shampoo and conditioner.
12) Maple Holistics Argan Conditioner (Reviewed HERE): This is an ultra-nourishing, yet lightweight, conditioner that leaves my hair soft, shiny, frizz-free, moisturized and manageable. It is one of those rare conditioners that permits me to comb my curly hair without the aid of additional products, and that is no small feat. It has a light and pleasant nondescript scent that does not linger, and therefore will not bother those sensitive to scents.
13 & 14) Fake Bake Mistifier Moisturizer Body Spray ($7.99 from Overstock.com. Reviewed HERE): Fake Bake Oil-Free Mistifier Moisturizer Body Spray is a very refreshing spray moisturizer, and while it is, in part, intended to be used to preserve tanning treatments (be it spray tans or real tans)-- I find that it does a stupendous job hydrating my skin during the warm weather. It is non-greasy and fast absorbing, but it is also fun to use. When you initially spray Mistifier it foams a bit and when the bubbles evaporate on the skin they have a refreshing cooling effect. I found that I had two half used cans in rotation, and managed to use up both this month.
15) Noodle & Boo Healthy Hand Wash ($12.00 from Beauty Encounter. Reviewed HERE): This is a very gentle soap-free hand wash that thoroughly cleans, but is so gentle that it never strips the skin. Hands are left luxuriously soft, supple and hydrated, and the delicate soft scent is subtle and barely-there.
Make good hygiene fun and help keep little ones germ-free and healthy. Soap-free formula is fortified with vitamins A, C and E, which nourish skin between washings.
16) Trader Joe's Lavender & Chamomile Hand Soap: This remains one of my very favorite hand soaps, and I can't recommend it highly enough! I buy them 4 at a time, and love that this soap leaves hands soft and supple instead of dry and chapped.
17) Molton Brown Suma Ginseng Body Wash ($30.00 from Molton Brown, Barneys New York, Beauty Expert, Beauty.com, Harrods, Skin Store, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor): This is a really lovely masculine woodsy scented body wash that is delightful to use.
18) evenhealy Sweet Blossom Hydrating Body Oil (Reviewed HERE): This is a deeply nourishing, immediately hydrating, and long-lasting moisturizer. My skin is left luxuriously soft and supple as well as silky smooth to the touch. Dry skin is quickly softened, soothed and hydrated– while the senses are treated to the gorgeous fresh scent. Furthermore, Sweet Blossom Hydrating Body Oil can be used as a massage oil and a scalp treatment oil. I love using it as a hand moisturizer underneath a heavy cream, and my chapped over-washed winter hands no longer look or feel dry or parched.
19) CapriClear 100% Coconut Oil Spray ($16.99-$19.99 from Walgreens and Drugstore.com. Reviewed HERE): This is a safe and effective spray oil that leaves my dry winter skin moisturized, soft and supple. I spray it on damp skin immediately following a shower and it makes my skin feel fantastic. On days when it is particularly cold I prefer to layer it under a rich cream or body butter, but generally it offers more than enough moisture. This is a really lovely moisturizer, however if you have a sensitivity or allergy to coconut in any form then this product should be strictly avoided.
What did you use up, give away, toss out, or return in February? Any winners or losers to report?
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