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As I noted a few months ago, I have been feeling overwhelmed by the number of half-used beauty products filling the drawers, cabinets and shelves in my house. In order to get a handle on this growing problem, I decided to roundup the mostly used up products and place them in a central location so that they are in the line of sight. My idea was that seeing them would encourage me to finish them up, and it also helps to clear the growing clutter. This method has worked so well that I feel less overwhelmed by all of the bottles, tubes and jars, and I always feel exceedingly satisfied when I toss all of my empty containers into my recycle bin!
Here is what I finished up in November:
Accént Cleansing Wash (Reviewed here. $15.49 for 12 oz. from Amazon): I have to confess that testing the claims as to whether or not the accént Cleansing Wash was gentle enough to use on the face left me somewhat concerned. In the past all-in-one cleansers have seldom worked for my skin, and I thought that this would prove to be a similar experience. However, I was very surprised by just how gentle accént proved to be. This fragrance-free formula left my skin feeling thoroughly cleansed, soft and supple-- but not at all stripped. I tried it head-to-toe (save for my hair), and it is really just as gentle as accént claims. I even tried it for shaving, and it was perfect for my sensitive underarms!
Feel My Hair Smoothing Shampoo: I really liked this shampoo a lot, but travel sized seldom give me enough time with a product to determine its longterm suitability and efficacy for my hair.
Abba Moisture Conditioner (Reviewed here. $18.00–$36.00 for 8 oz. and 33.8 oz from Abba and Ulta): This conditioner leaves my hair so soft and hydrated, and it leaves my hair frizz and tangle-free. I love Abba haircare, and already have replacement bottles!
Trader Joe's French Liquid Soap in Orange Blossom Honey: I have repurchased this so many times that I have lost count. I will continue buying this as long as Trader Joe's makes it! If you love the aroma of Orange Blossoms, then this is a definite must-have hand soap! I already have replacement bottles.
California Naturel Gentle Cleansing Gel (Reviewed here): California Naturel Gentle Cleansing Gel is one of my favorite and most reached for cleansers because it is gentle, as the name suggests, and yet it thoroughly cleanses the skin without stripping it. It has a light lather that makes it an exquisite cleanser to use in conjunction with a cleansing device like the FOREO LUNA or Clarisonic, or to be used alone. It leaves my skin silky smooth, soft, supple and hydrated instead of feeling over-cleansed or stripped. It was formulated for all skin types including the most sensitive skin. It has the pleasant and faint smell of lavender, but it is quite subtle.
Manuka Secrets Cleanse (Reviewed here. $19.99 for 3.38 oz. from): is a non-lathering daily cream cleanser that leaves skin thoroughly cleansed and ultra moisturized. It contains nourishing ingredients like Almond Oil, Manuka Honey and Shea Butter that moisturize and protect the skin, and it removes every bit of makeup without stripping the skin. If you have dry skin, or if the colder weather is wreaking havoc on your skin, then this is a great cleanser to try. It has a warm and earthy scent that I find delightful. If you need a foaming or lathering cleanser, then this is definitely not for you.
Good Earth Lip Scrubs (Reviewed here. $8.00 for 1 oz. jar from Good Earth Beauty): Good Earth Beauty Lip Scrubs leave lips soft, smooth, supple, and ready for your favorite lipsticks. I tested the strawberry, chocolate and vanilla flavors, and they smell delectable! I simply dampen my lips and very gently massage them. If I need extra exfoliation, then I massage until the sugar dissolves, but if I only need light exfoliation, then I rinse it off before all of the sugar dissolves.
Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes (Featured here. Deluxe Sample. Full Size $5.99): I love facial wipes, and use them all of the time. They are so handy for removing makeup, and this deluxe sample packet was perfect for travel.Mira-Skin Hyaluronic Serum (Reviewed here. $129.00 from the mira-skin Amazon Store): Mira-Skin Hyaluronic Serum is a lightweight gel that sinks into the skin immediately leaving behind no residue whatsoever. Skin immediately feels comfortably hydrated, and the hyaluronic acid plumps fine lines and improves the overall texture of the skin. It leaves skin soft, supple, lifted, glowing and deeply moisturized. It has has the faint scent of roses, from the Rosa Damascena Distillate, but it fades as soon as it is absorbed into the skin.
Arbonne RE9 Advanced Regenerating Toner (Reviewed here. $35.00 for 1.7 oz. from Arbonne): If you have been seeking to add a toner into your skincare routine, that is gentle enough to be used daily, then Arbonne RE9 Advanced Regenerating Toner is worth your consideration. I don't use toners all of the time, but when I do I tend to gravitate to the alcohol-free variety. This particular toner feels far from ordinary as it boasts an antioxidant rich formula that is pH-balanced and comes in a convenient spray bottle. The mist-stream isn't fine enough to lightly mist the whole face, but instead is more effective when spritzed into a cotton ball or pad. It leaves skin feeling refreshed, cleansed, lightly hydrated and lifted. It has a very mild scent that seems to evaporate immediately.
Painted Earth 15% Vitamin C Face Lotion (Reviewed here. $55.00 1.7 oz. from Painted Earth): What I immediately noticed was a healthy glow emerging after I began using this Vitamin C lotion. My skin seemed more vibrant, stimulated, and healthy. This formula boasts tremendous antioxidant protection, and when used in concert with a high SPF sunscreen it offers the skin a very high level of protection against the the ravages of the environment. It delivers the perfect amount of moisture to my normal/combination skin, and it remains moist and hydrated throughout the day.
B. Kamins Nia-Stem Moisturizer Kx (Reviewed here. $125.00 for 1.7 oz. from Dermstore): This is lightweight anti-aging daily moisturizer for all skin types and ages. It is thick and creamy, yet lightweight and fast absorbing. It leaves skin comfortably hydrated, protected, and thankfully never makes the skin feel greasy or oily. My complexion is brightened and glowing after use, and it is left with a greater appearance of clarity. While my skin is not slack, I did definitely notice a lifting effect.
Manuka Secrets Serum (Reviewed here. Price $41.27 for 1.01 oz. from Amazon): This antioxidant-rich facial serum is loaded with nourishing oils and Manuka Honey without any unwanted filler ingredients. Like most serums, it is very lightweight in texture and fast absorbing, and therefore it provides deep hydration instantaneously. Skin is left soft, supple and luminous, and over time, it works to even skin tone. I had two mostly finished bottles that I used up in November. While I do not need to purchase any serums right now, I would definitely use this again.
Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil (Reviewed here. $170.00 1 fl. oz. Available from Nordstrom, Barneys New York & Beautyhabit): When I first began using Olio Lusso, years ago, I wasn't sure how I would feel about putting the gloriously scented blend of 11 natural oils all over my face because I was unaccustomed to the notion of using natural Jasmine oil as anything other than a fragrance for my body, rather than as a treatment for my face. I feared that it might wreak havoc on my combination skin because Jasmine Oil is the first ingredient on the list. However, not only was I wrong about that, but I actually found the scent to be calming, intoxicatingly delicious, and unmistakably luxurious. In fact, among the properties of Jasmine Oil it is purported to reduce scarring, tone the skin, lift the spirits, and effectively treat dry skin. This liquid gold elixir sinks in faster than any oil that I have used to date, and it not only imparts the skin with an unprecedented healthy glow, but it likewise hydrates and moisturizes the skin better than I have ever imagined possible. When I apply this at night I wake up with a glow that I have to date never experienced. It also sinks in so quickly that there is no need to sit and wait for it to be absorbed before applying makeup. Additionally, a drop of this in your foundation or tinted moisturizer will give you the most amazing finish imaginable. This is still one of my very favorite beauty oils! A+++
Mario Badescu Vitamin A-D-E Neck Cream (Reviewed here. $20.00 for 1 oz. from Ulta): I am particularly smitten with the Mario Badescu Vitamin A-D-E Neck Cream for a number of reasons. First, it has the texture of a balm, rather than a typical cream, and I find it to be far more emollient, but without being greasy. Second, it is an ultra hydrating blend of nourishing ingredients that deeply moisturize the skin. Finally, it includes Hyaluronic Acid among its ingredients, and therefore attracts and retains hydration. Skin is left ultra moisturized, soft and supple. Incidentally, this cream also works wonders on dry cuticles.
Le Mieux Icy Revitalizing Mask (Reviewed here. $15.00 for 2 oz. from Le Mieux): This is a wonderfully refreshing clay mask that makes the skin tingle in the most pleasant way. It draws out impurities, helps to clear clogged pores, and it is neither drying nor irritating on the skin.
Pure Smile Milk Mask Pack: (Full size product $1.00): This mask offered my skin hydration, but that was really the only thing that I noticed.
Purlisse Blue Lotus-Seaweed Mask (Featured here. Retail $8.00): This natural fiber mask is infused with Blue Lotus and restorative Asian botanicals that deliver antioxidants to nourish skin and improve its texture. It definitely offered my skin nice hydration.
MaskerAide Detox Diva Face Mask (Featured here): I didn't notice any "detoxing" from this mask, but it did offer my normal/combination skin hydration.
Assorted Sibu and Virgin Farms sample packets: Not enough product in the sample packets to form a meaningful opinion.TOM FORD Beauty Lip Color Shine in Bare (Reviewed here. $53.00 from Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's and Bergdorf Goodman): Bare is one of those hybrid lip products that has the comfort and moisturizing properties of a fabulous lip balm, but combines the wear of a lipstick with that of a lip gloss. It glides on the lips effortlessly and offers gorgeous color and twinkling pearl suspended in a luminous shiny formula. I avoided buying this for a very long time because I found it to be rather cost prohibitive given that there are so many high quality luxury hybrid lip products on the market for a fraction of the price, and I regret to inform you that this one ended up being my very favorite! I had hoped not to love it, but as you can see– I scraped every last bit from this tube! I will definitely purchase this again!
What did you use up, toss out, give away or return in November? Any real winners or losers to share?
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