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Another month, another pile of empties! After having done so many years worth of empties, I have come to a simple conclusion: placing mostly used products in plain view is the best way to assure their use. A simple truth though it is, it has facilitated finishing scores of products each month. Now here is the one caveat– if you leave things in plain sight, and you live with others, then other people will invariably feel free to use what you leave out. Therefore, if you have highly coveted products that you don't want to share liberally, then I suggest placing them elsewhere. I have also noted that the skincare products that I place in, and around, the shower get emptied with far greater frequency than other products, and that is why they tend to be over-represented in my empties posts. Needless to say, my ultra-luxe favorites are never left out in this way since I truly covet them. Here is what I finished in May:
SKINCARE: Photograph above.
Arbonne RE9 Smoothing Facial Cleanser ($40.00 for 3 oz. from Arbonne): is a gentle, lathering cleanser that thoroughly cleanses skin without any stripping or drying. Mild surfactants effortlessly dissolve makeup and remove dirt, while the emollient pearlescent formula moisturizes and conditions the skin. It can be used in the morning and the evening, and it can effectively be used with cleaning devices, such as a FOREO LUNA or Clarisonic. It has a delectable Orange Peel Oil aroma that lends itself to an extraordinary sensory experience that is uplifting and refreshing. This cleanser is absolutely obsession-worthy, and it leaves my skin soft, supple and hydrated. Would I use it again: Most definitely! This is one of my current favorite cleansers!
Neutrogena Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes (Full Sizes $6.49-$8.99 from Ulta and Walgreens): I can never have too many makeup wipes, and these were gentle, effective at removing makeup and dirt, and the cloths themselves were ultra soft. Would I use it again: I would definitely purchase these when I run low on my current collection of wipes.
Nerium Eye-V Moisture Boost Hydrogel Patches (Review forthcoming): These are wonderfully hydrating eye masks that reduce puffiness, soften fine lines, and they leave the delicate area under the eyes refreshed. Would I use it again: It's too soon to tell because I am still testing them.SOAPS AND BODY WASHES:
LAVANILA The Healthy Body Wash 3-IN-1 Sport Luxe ($16.00 for 6.7 oz. from LAVANILA and Sephora): This sulfate-free body wash deeply and gently cleans the skin and leaves skin feeling utterly refreshed. It is formulated to gently cleanse the skin post-workout by removing excessive sweat, dirt and oil, and this is a great gift for the active men and women on your gift list. Would I use it again: Unquestionably! I love this body wash!
Molton Brown Black Peppercorn Body Wash ($30.00 for 10 oz. from Molton Brown, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York and Birchbox): is an ultra-luxe body wash that forms a creamy rich lather, but never strips the skin. The aroma is a deep, warm black peppercorn tempered by a faint note of honeysuckle, vetiver and coriander. It embodies a delectable blend of masculine and feminine aromas that really resonate with me. Would I use it again: I would definitely use it again, but during the fall and winter since I prefer lighter fragrances during the spring and summer.
Kneipp Relaxing Lavender Body Wash ($6.00 for 2.53 oz. from Kneipp, Dermstore and SkinCare RX): With natural lavender oil, the soap-free and pH balanced formula cleanses gently and leaves skin soft, supple and hydrated. The lavender scent calms the mind, and it fills the shower with its lovely aroma. Would I use it again: Unquestionably! I love this body wash.
Terranova Patchouli Glycerin Soap ($5.75 for 4.5 oz. from Terranova): If you want to go retro 1970s, then Terranova's Patchouli Glycerin Soap is the perfect way to ring in Earth Day! This glycerin soap thoroughly cleans the skin with out any stripping, and in fact I find that it softens and hydrates my skin. If you are not a fan of Patchouli, I will tell you that this isn't a cloying and pungent version in the least bit. In fact, I find it quite pleasant. That said, Patchouli seldom elicits neutral responses– therefore if you have an aversion to its essence, then you will want to pass. Would I use it again: I enjoyed it, but since Patchouli isn't my favorite scent I would prefer to try one of their other scents.
Cibu Knot So Knotty Anti-Breakage Detangler ($18.00 for 6 oz. from Cibu): While I don't technically require a detangled or a leave in conditioner after using Cibu Color Shampoo, I do like the extra moisture that it affords my hair. In addition to that it tames any frizzies and leaves my hair very soft and manageable. This has a really delicious almost tropical scent that reminds me of summer. The scent lingers for a while before it fades away. Would I use it again: I would, but I have a lot of detanglers and leave in conditioners– so it will be quite a while before I need another.
Cibu Color Conditioner ($20.00 for 13.5 oz from Cibu): Cibu is not exaggerating in their claim that this is an ultra-hydrating conditioner. In fact, this tames my naturally curly hair so much that I can easily get a comb through it without the need for a detangler or a leave-in conditioner. That may not sound like a big deal, but trust me when I say that it is when it comes to my hair! Not only does this conditioner lengthen the life of hair color, but it leaves my hair soft and shiny. It has the same fruity floral scent as the shampoo, but I find that the scent also fades quickly. Would I use it again: I would, but I am swimming in conditioners, and won't need a replacement for a long time.
Fresh Monster Toxin-Free Shampoo and Conditioner ($7.99 for 8 oz. from Whole Foods, Target and Amazon): If you will be having little kids spending the night, their parents will be thrilled to see some toxin-free 2-1 Shampoo & Conditioners, Shampoo and Body Washes and a Hair Detangler. They come in fun scents that are neither too fragrant, nor do they smell like chemicals. They are fun to use, and you might be tempted to try them yourself! 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner is available in Watermelon, Coconut or Fragrance-Free. Would I use it again: I really like this range of products, and would be happy to use them again. That said, as previously noted, I am swimming in haircare.
NOVEX Bamboo Sprout Leave-In Conditioner (Full Size. $9.99 from Ulta): This leave-in conditioner, made with bamboo sprouts, leaves your hair feeling nourished and gives it a glossy shine. Would I use it again: I probably would eventually, but I have way too many leave-in conditioners to use up first.
Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo ($49.00 for 8.5 oz. from Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Space NK, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Blue Mercury): I absolutely LOVE Oribe haircare, and this shampoo is on my must-buy list after using this small sample. It is ultra-luxe, very moisturizing and it leaves hair soft and silky smooth. Would I use it again: MOST DEFINITELY! This was absolutely AMAZING!
Philip B. Light-Weight Deep Conditioning Creme Rinse ($29.00 for oz. from Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Cult Beauty, Dermstore and Barneys New York): This is an absolutely amazing lightweight detangling conditioner that leaves hair soft, smooth and shiny! I am using up another sample, and plan to buy a full-size tube once I finish. Philip B. can do no wrong, as far as I am concerned. Would I use it again: MOST DEFINITELY! This was absolutely AMAZING!
SAMPLE PACKETS: As you know, I tend not to comment on individual packets unless I have full sizes from which to form a meaningful opinion, and therefore I will limit my comments to with which I am the most familiar.
Savvy Traveler In the Klear ($10.00 for 10 wipes from Savvy Travelers, Savvy Travelers Amazon Store and Nordstrom): In the Klear wipes are lint-free, and therefore perfect for cleaning the lens on your phone, camera, screens and glasses. Would I use it again: I need to use them longer, but probably.
Kneipp Restoring Safflower & Olive Body Oil ($23.00 for 3.38 oz. from Kneipp): This is an ultra rich, and yet exceedingly lightweight and fast absorbing body oil that leaves skin deeply moisturized, indescribably soft, supple and luminous. It has a very pleasant faint aroma with the slightest citrus notes. Would I use it again: Definitely!
FRAGRANCES: This month I decided to focus my attention on using a few of my TOM FORD perfume samples to see if there were any scents that I had managed to overlook, or that I should consider purchasing. I found that I favored the scents that I already owned– therefore I don't think that this particular pile will result in any new purchased, but it certainly reaffirmed my love of his scents that are already in my collection.
TOM FORD Perfume samples: My favorites, that I reach for all of the time, and that I will replace once my full-size bottles are empty are: Neroli Portofino, Café Rose, Tobacco Vanille and Black Orchid. Would I use them again: TOM FORD makes my most reached-for mainstream luxury perfumes, and these 4 fragrances are definitely worthy of buying over and over again!
What did you use up, toss out, give away or return in May? Any amazing discoveries, total duds or repeat purchases to report?
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