Thursday, November 30, 2023

November 2023 Empties Galore for the Face & Body

Purchased & Press Samples (Affiliate Links)

This month I managed to finish 12 products, and two of them were sample sizes. I liked everything that I used up, and thoroughly enjoyed them. I should note that while this pile of empties seems like a lot, in the spirit of transparency they were all quite used up, and I simply focused on finishing them before they spoiled. Here is what I finished up in the month of November:

Erno Laszlo Phelityl Night Cream ($146.00 for 1.7 oz. from Erno LaszloNordstrom and Amazon): is pH-balancing and formulated to repair, strengthen and hydrate your skin while you sleep. It is very thick, but miraculously lightweight, fast-absorbing and non-greasy. It quickly melts into the skin, leaves behind no residue whatsoever, and deeply moisturizes. When I wake up my skin is so soft, supple, moisturized and luminous. Additionally, it softens the appearance of fine lines and makes my skin look incredible. It can also be used during the day, but it contains no sunscreen, and therefore you need to use a separate sunscreen if you use this during the day. It has a very light and pleasant aroma that quickly dissipates, and it can be used for all types of skin. It is perfect for my normal/combination skin, but I think that people with dry skin might prefer a richer cream at night. Purchase Again? I will definitely purchase more at some point in the future, but for now I have far too many open jars of cream to use first.

Fleur & Bee Youth Fairy Retinol Moisturizer ($40.00 for 1.5 oz. from Fleur & Bee and Amazon): is a wonderfully effective and affordable cruelty-free brand. This rich and nourishing antioxidant cream, which is formulated for all types of skin, features 0.03% retinol to increase skin cell turnover and lighten hyperpigmentation, and plant stem cells to protect and rejuvenate the skin. To offset any of the drying and peeling effects, often associated with retinol-based skincare products, Evening Primrose was selected to moisturize and smooth the skin. Unlike many retinol-based skincare products, Youth Fairy is quite gentle, and I experienced no redness, irritation, itching or peeling. The thick and emollient cream melts into the skin immediately leaving it nourished and luminous. It does take up to 12 weeks to see the full effects of the retinol, but I noticed that my skin was brighter after just a couple of weeks. This cream is also gluten-free and it has no detectable aroma. If you are seeking a gentle retinol, then this is a really nice one to consider. 

It should be noted that it is very important to use a high SPF sunscreen, and reapplying it frequently, when using retinol-based products since they remove dead skin cells and leave the skin more vulnerable to the elements. It is also very wise to have your doctor check your moles and any skin irregularities– including, but limited to hyperpigmentation– to make sure that you do not have pre-cancerous lesions or spots, or skin cancer. Since I am not a medical doctor, I would urge you to see your physician to discuss the safety of adding retinol to your routine, and to make sure that none of your skin irregularities need medical attention instead of a skincare product. My doctor is very accustomed to looking over the ingredients in products that I seek to use, and she always carefully checks my skin for anything that might be, or could become, problematic. Purchase Again? I have several open jars and tubes of retinol-based products to use first, but I would definitely use this again!

Vitabrid C¹² Wrinkle Cream is ($70.00 for 1.69 oz. from Vitabrid C¹²Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom) is a mid-weight rich cream that melts into the skin, and the Shea Butter delivers serious moisture. Stabilized Vitamin C helps to even skin tone and lighten hyperpigmentation, and the novel peptides help plump fine lines leaving the skin smoother looking in appearance. This ultra-luxe, and velvety-textured, cream is such a pleasure to use and it makes skin look and feel exquisite. While I do not have wrinkles, I do have some fine expression lines, and this cream has definitely softened their appearance. There is no fragrance, and therefore people who are sensitive to fragrant skincare products will not have any problems with this cream in that regard. Purchase Again? I think that I might have another jar stashed somewhere, and will definitely use it!

Annmarie Skin Care Anti-Aging Facial Oil ($118.00 for 30ml. from Annmarie Skin Care and their Official Amazing Store): is a seriously gorgeous luxury face oil. While this glorious face oil is formulated for dry and mature skin, it is one of the finest and most effective oils to have graced my normal to combination skin. This ultra-luxe antioxidant-rich facial oil, which is velvety-to-the-touch, is infused with herbs and a symphony of more than 13 nourishing oils. Ingredients such as chia, goji berry, and broccoli firm and tighten the skin, and therefore soften the appearance of fine lines. Deeply moisturizing, this beautiful oil is lightweight and it effortlessly melts into the skin. It is neither greasy, nor does it leave behind any residue. I prefer to apply it to moist and warm freshly washed skin, and it immediately leaves my skin soft, smooth, supple and luminous. It is quite concentrated, and therefore I find the a single pump offers plenty of oil to cover my face, neck and décolleté, but your use may vary. It has the most hypnotic herbal aroma, but is not long-lasting or overpowering. Purchase Again? I am using a full size bottle as we speak, and I love it!

Aesop Damascan Rose Facial Treatment ($85.00 for 0.8 oz. from Aesop, Nordstrom, Space NK, Bluemercury, Revolve and Saks Fifth Avenue): is undoubtedly a very deeply nourishing and moisturizing face oil that will do wonders for dry and/or distressed skin, but it has also done incredible things for my normal/combination skin as well. It is a very concentrated, vitamin infused treatment oil that serves as a potent remedy for skin that needs intense hydration, but is so gentle and nourishing that my skin happily drinks it up and is left soft, supple, glowing, balanced, and very moisturized. I only need a couple of drops that I warm between my hands before massaging it into my slightly damp and warm face, neck and décolleté. It sinks in immediately and effortlessly, and it has an intoxicatingly hypnotic warm earthy rose scent that simply delights the senses. It is neither too rich for my skin, nor has it caused me to break out in the least. It just makes my skin look and feel amazing. Purchase Again? I will definitely consider it once I have finished some of my many open face oils.

Goldfaden MD Fleuressence Native Botanical Cell Oil ($129.00 for 1 oz. from Goldfaden MDCredo BeautyBloomingdale's and Amazon): If you are looking to try a new-to-you luxury face oil that is lightweight, fast-absorbing and incredibly nourishing and hydrating, then Goldfaden MD Fleuressence Native Botanical Cell Oil is worthy of your consideration. This delicate and delectable golden elixir boasts a light floral aroma that is an utter delight to the senses. This silky smooth ultra-luxe oil melts into the skin immediately moisturizing the skin and leaving it soft, smooth, supple and luminous. It boasts a thoroughly non-greasy texture that makes it the perfect candidate to be added to your daily moisturizer for added hydration, and it can be added to your favorite foundation for added luminosity. Furthermore, the antioxidant-rich formula, which is rich in Omega fatty acids, helps protect the skin against free-radical damage. After repeated use for about 5 weeks, I noted that the appearance of my fine lines were softened and my overall skin tone appeared more even and brightened. Purchase Again? DEFINITELY!

Fleur & Bee Just Dew It Hydrating Serum ($34.00 for 1 oz. from Fleur & Bee and the Fleur & Bee Amazon Store): This Hyaluronic Acid serum includes 14 nourishing actives that pamper and hydrate the skin with extraordinary efficacy. It is a lightweight and yet rich gel that leaves skin soft, smooth, hydrated and with a dewy glow. It is fast absorbing, it has a wonderful slightly floral aroma, and it softens the appearance of fine lines. This cruelty-free and vegan serum is as much a treat to the senses as it is to the skin, and it is remarkably affordable for such a luxurious serum. It is formulated for all skin types, and it is perfect all year long. Purchase Again? Definitely!

Elina Organics Vitamin C Elixir ($63.00 for 2 oz. from Elina Organics and their official Amazon Store): is a nourishing serum that contains Vitamin C, Rose Hips, Almond Oil, Green Tea and Sea Buckthorn to nourish and even skin complexions. This serum, which has the consistency and appearance of a lightweight moisturizer, melts into the skin and offers it immediate nourishment and hydration. If you have normal to combination skin, like me, then you can actually use this gem as your daily moisturizer, and if you have dry skin, then you will want to use it as a serum underneath your moisturizer. It also brightens the complexion, it fades hyperpigmentation and scars over time, and it soothes irritated skin. My skin is left soft, smooth, supple, brightened and with a pronounced clarity. It has a light herbal aroma, informed by its ingredients, not added fragrance, but it dissipates altogether once it is absorbed by the skin. Purchase Again? I just opened up a different Vitamin C serum, but I would love to get this one again in the future.

Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar ($44.00 for 3.4 oz. from Erno LaszloNordstrom and Look Fantastic): Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar does an exceptional job cleaning and exfoliating my skin, and it does so without drying, stripping or irritating. Skin is left soft, clear and luminous, and while it is now said to be formulated for all skin types, it used to be for normal, combination and oily skin types. I would say that dryer skin types would only use it periodically for its deep cleaning and exfoliating abilities, but not as a daily soap. I do like to use it with a cleansing oil, but sometimes I use it alone. My one grievance is that the bar used to be a hefty 6 oz., which was far more satisfying to use, and now it is nearly half the size. Purchase Again? Absolutely!
Spongellé Body Wash Infused Buffers ($12.00-$20.00 each from Spongellé): This particular buffer was limited edition from a while ago, but you really can't go wrong with any of their buffers. These sponges not only effectively remove dead skin cells, but they also leave the skin deliciously baby soft, smooth, supple and moisturized. Body wash infused body buffers are such a treat to use, and they really excel in their ability to clean and exfoliate the skin while delighting the senses with their delightful aromas. You simply dampen the body buffer with water to activate the lather to effortlessly clean and exfoliate the skin. Each sponge is filled with enough body wash for a minimum of 14 washes, and once you have used up all of the body wash, the sponge itself is still quite intact, and therefore all you need to do is use it in conjunction with your favorite liquid or bar soaps. The hanging ribbon allows the buffer to dry out easily, but I recommend hanging it outside of the moist environment of the shower to avoid bacterial growth. Purchase Again? I just opened up a new one!
Spongellé Botanica Candle in Tobacco Flower ($35.00 for 8 oz. from Spongellé): This is amazing candle has a rather hard to describe scent profile. The bottom notes, cedarwood and sandalwood, account for the tobacco flower sensibility, but it is mellowed by the top and middle notes to create a brilliantly conceived amalgam of these carefully selected aromas. If this were a perfume, it would be described as decidedly unisex in its composition and conception. Fragrance NotesTop: Bergamot, Green Fig. Middle: Rosemary, Juniper, Sheer Lavender. Bottom: Cedarwood, Sandalwood. Purchase Again? I just start burning another one of their delectable candles!

Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'n' Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Velvet Violet ($29.00 for 10g. from Charlotte TilburySephoraNordstromBloomingdale'sBeautylishSelfridgesCult Beauty and John Lewis): This wonderful formula is so creamy to the touch and easy to blend, and it glides across the skin without any tugging or pulling, and it deposits color evenly and effortlessly. It allows you to create a very clean crisp line, but gives you enough time before setting to make a smoky smudged line as well. Once it does set, it is completely budge-proof, and lasts on me all day long, and without a primer. I do not experience any transfer, smudging or fading, but I do not have very oily eyelids, and your wear-time may vary if you do. Purchase Again? I just opened another one!

Overall Assessment: I hope that I can do this well in December! What did you use up, toss out, give away or return in November? Any excellent or mediocre products to report?

Purchased and Press Samples (Affiliate Links). All views expressed are categorically my own. 

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  1. You did extremely well in November! I can't believe you used up all of those oils, serums, and moisturizers! How did you do it? The Goldfaden MD Fleuressence sounds divine. Someday I will try it when I make more progress on my oils and serums and sprays. The Velvet Violet shade of the CT eyeliner also sounds terrific. I need to review my November empties so I can get to July, August & September, lol!

    1. Thanks, Allison. Though I have to confess that this pile isn't as impressive as it seems because all of the creams and serums were nearly empty and just required 1-2 weeks of use to finish up. It was rather a mad rush to finish before they went bad, and you know how much I dislike wasting and tossing products out. The only full-size product that I started and finished in November was the Spongellé Body Buffer. Everything else had been open and in use since I received them. The Goldfaden MD Fleuressence Oil is TRULY exquisite, and I definitely think that you would like it a lot. Velvet Violet is such a gorgeous purple shade, and while I prefer the VB eyeliner formulas to CT, I think this purple shade is much prettier than the one I have from VB. Don't get me wrong, the latter is beautiful as well, but this one is really special IMHO. <3


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