Wednesday, January 31, 2024

January 2024 Empties for the Face, Hair, Body & Home

Press Sample & Purchased (Affiliate Links)

I am a little surprised that I was able to finish 15 items in the month of January. 14 of the 15 items were full size with one deluxe sample. I am pleased to say that I really loved everything that I finished, and I would happily use all of them again. However, given that I have far too many open jars and tubes of products to use up before making more purchases, many of these items will not be replaced for quite some time. Here is what I used in January 2024:
Archipelago Botanicals Jar Candle in Holiday Spice (Sold out seasonal holiday candle): This is a delightful and nostalgic blend of Cinnamon Bark, Clove, and Orange zest, and it truly smells like the holidays. It fills the room with this familiar scent of the holidays, and it creates a very comforting and festive ambiance. Housed in a gorgeous keepsake glass jar, this is an ultra-luxe candle that is covet-worthy. Purchase Again? They are sold out since this was for the holidays, but I am currently burning two more of their wonderful candles!

Sanari Plant-Based Candle in Sorbetto ($34.00 for 8.5 oz. from the Sanari Amazon Store): Sanari, a local Los Angeles company, not only creates each of their delectably scented candles from Kosher Certified Essential Oils, Non-GMO Soy Wax and Organic Coconut Wax, but they also use gorgeous wide 100% unbleached cotton wicks that are, "designed specifically to burn best in organic coconut wax candles and non-GMO wax for an even glow and pure burn."This utterly delectable and intoxicating candle is a citrus herbal blend of blood orange, coconut and vanilla bean. The lovely aroma fills the air with its gorgeous essence, while the healthy candle burns clean. Blend: Citrus Herbal (Blood Orange, Persian Lime, Creamy Coconut, Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon). Purchase Again? I am currently burning another one of their candles (in a different scent).

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!
Kérastase Discipline Maskertine Hair Mask ($68.00 for 6.8 oz. from Kérastase, Sephora and the Kérastase Amazon Store): This is a deeply nourishing and deep conditioning hair mask that leaves hair frizz-free, unbelievably soft and supple, and with a stunning glossy sheen. I can't believe the results, and simply can't get enough of this extraordinary deep conditioner! This is nirvana for unruly hair! Purchase Again? It's expensive, but I am definitely buying another jar because it works like magic on my hair!

African Botanics Shimmering Gold Body Oil ($110.00 for 3.4 oz. from African Botanics, Revolve, Saks Fifth AvenueBluemercury and Credo Beauty): This is a magical antioxidant-rich and unbelievably nourishing and hydrating oil that can be used from head to toe. In the hair it offers conditioning and tames frizz while adorning your tresses with a gorgeous golden luminosity. This delectable nourishing oil hydrates and smooths the skin while giving it the most gorgeous and refined shimmer. Skin is left luminous, soft, supple and utterly quenched. Of all of the shimmering oils that I have seen flood the market none compares to this one. It's perfect all year round, but it is the one to try this summer.  The subtle scent is an intoxicatingly delicious blend of Gardenia, Magnolia, Neroli and Vanilla Bean that is so delectable that I would wear it as a perfume given the chance. Purchase Again? It's at the top of my list for summer!

African Botanics Intense Skin Repair Balm ($160.00 for oz from African Botanics, Credo Beauty, Revolve and bluemercury): This proves to be the quintessential active botanical face balm that has earned pride of place as my very favorite facial moisturizer. It is the perfect ultra-hydrating moisturizer that immediately nourishes and hydrates the skin, reduces inflammation and redness, plumps fine lines, evens skin tone, improves elasticity, firms, and improves overall clarity.  

It is extremely concentrated, therefore a pea size amount is all that you need to use for your  entire face, neck and décolleté. Warmed between the hands or fingers, this balm transforms into an exceedingly luxurious serum that melts into the skin effortlessly. The silky texture coupled with the gorgeous aroma, that is a fusion of Jasmine Grandiflorum, Damask Rose and Bergamot, makes using this luxury balm an extraordinary sensory experience.

This nourishing and healing balm is the perfect year-round moisturizer for people with dry and dehydrated skin, but the benefits of its use are so pronounced that I plan to use it all year long on my normal/combination skin. It soaks in the same way that a beauty oil does, and therefore is not unlike using a beauty oil because it liquefies in the same way once  it is warmed up. It soaks in immediately and leaves skin unbelievably soft, supple, hydrated and luminous. If you are left with a greasy residue, then you have neither adequately warmed it up, nor have you used a small enough amount. 

Additionally, this unique formula offers healing benefits that effectively treat skin conditions such as acne (or monthly hormonal breakouts) hyperpigmentation and it softens the appearance of scars. People with sensitive, irritated, and damaged skin will be astonished by the immediate soothing and healing properties that are embodied in this potent healing elixir, and won't ever want to be without this seemingly magical balm. This is also a great post-treatment balm that immediately calms down skin that has been subjected to a peel or vigorous exfoliation. I have used it after doing an at-home peel, and after thorough exfoliation, and my skin immediately feels and looks better. My skin can, at times, be rather sensitive, and this balm has proven to be the perfect soothing and calming remedy for just about every skin irritation that I have experienced. It is a multipurpose balm, that boasts extraordinary efficacy, and just so happens to be the perfect face cream. It delivers moisture and nutrients more effectively than any balm that I have tried, and its texture and aroma are utterly addictive. Once you try it, I suspect that you will become as obsessed with it as I am! Purchase Again? I am digging around to see if I have another jar, and if I don't, I need to buy another one!

The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser ($61.00 for the 1.69 oz. refill from Bloomingdale's and goop): Whether you are a proponent of single or a double cleansing, this oil-based balm cleanser effectively removes all traces of makeup and dirt. In starts out as a solid balm, but melts into an oil when it comes into contact with warm skin. It is rich, emollient and very concentrated, and therefore only a small amount is needed to yield extraordinary results. Furthermore, it is very gentle and effective and it thoroughly cleans the skin without any effort on your part.

I simply apply a small amount to dry skin and massage it with my fingers and then remove it with a warm damp muslin cloth or a soft cotton wash cloth. It leaves skin soft, supple and radiant. Sometimes I do not use an additional cleanser, but I also love to double cleanse. I have normal/combination skin, and can forgo the second cleansing, but I generally don't. If you have very dry skin you may not opt to double cleanse, but if you have combination to oily skin you will probably want to double cleanse since you may prefer to wash away any of the remaining oils. It has a very light herbal aroma that simply smells like a fusion of its ingredients. Purchase Again? Eventually, but I am currently swimming in cleansing balms that I must first finish.

The Organic Pharmacy Flower Petal Deep Cleanser & Mask ($41.00 for 1.41 oz. from The Organic Pharmacy): I remain astounded by the results of this duo mask/scrub for a multitude of reasons. It has a lovely soft texture and has the natural scent of Rose (there are even beautiful crushed rose petals in the powder). It turns from powder to a paste by drizzling a little water at a time until you reach the desired consistency, and once you have done so then you simply apply it to your face with a gentle circular motion.  Once you have finished this step simply allow the paste to dry (as you would with a clay mask), and then rinse off after about 5 minutes. The first time that I used it I followed the instructions and left it on for 5 minutes, and the results were amazing. However, the following times that I used it I left it on for about 20 minutes, and the results were utterly miraculous. 

The combination of the physical exfoliating coupled with the tendency of the Lactic Acid to literally eat away dead skin assures that all of those pesky dead skin cells are removed revealing unbelievably beautiful sparkling skin. Purchase Again? Absolutely!

The Organic Pharmacy Enzyme Peel Mask ($65.00 for 2.03 oz. from The Organic Pharmacy): This powerful enzyme mask gently removes dead skin cells, diminishes the appearance of age spots, softens the appearance of fine lines, helps to reduce blackheads, and it leaves skin soft, smooth, supple and thoroughly refreshed.This beautiful mask is a very refreshing gel that transforms the skin in a mere 10 minutes. You will look and feel as though you received a professional facial in record time, and will want to make this a regular part of your at-home beauty routine. Purchase Again? Once I use a few more of my open products that exfoliate dead skin cells.

Tatcha Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream ($144.00 for 0.5 oz. from Tatcha): This is an ultra luxurious, and silky-smooth, mid-weight eye cream that is exceedingly concentrated– therefore only a very tiny amount is needed. This magical eye cream transforms from one that is more dense into one that is lightweight when introduced to the warmth of the skin. The emollient formula immediately melts into the skin– delivering its nourishing antioxidant, anti-aging properties to the delicate skin around the eyes. 

This eye cream is a deeply moisturizing and hydrating eye cream that leaves skin soft, supple, plumped and decidedly luminous. I was eager to see the extent to which it could plump fine lines, and after only a few weeks of use I noted that the fine lines at the outer-edges of my eyes were smoother, plumper, and nearly invisible. This is one of the few eye creams that effectively lightens dark circles when I have them, and eliminates under-eye puffiness on the rare occasions that I get them. This is one of those rare eye creams that is so perfect that there is absolutely nothing that I would change about it. Purchase Again? As soon as I finish up my open eye creams!

Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Eye Serum ($88.00 for 0.5 oz. from Tatcha and QVC): This is a lightweight and fast absorbing serum that delivers immediate hydration, reduces the appearance of fine lines, reduces puffiness, and visibly lifts and firms skin. The Okinawa Red Algae, Honeysuckle Leaf and Caffeine visibly firm the skin while reducing puffiness, and at the same time this combination plumps fine lines, and delivers intense hydration.

The innovative cooling ceramic tip applicator, in conjunction with the fine dust of 23-karat gold, serve to "brighten and diminish shadows under the eyes without adding shimmer." When I haven't gotten enough sleep, I periodically awaken to puffy eyes, and massaging this area with the ceramic tip and serum has an immediate, and sustained, cooling effect that radically diminishes puffy eyes.

While this is a serum, I find that it delivers enough hydration that I don't actually need to use an eye cream, but if your skin is particularly dry you may want to use an eye cream as well. This serum leaves my skin lifted, fine lines diminished, puffiness eradicated, and skin is left with a pronounced clarity and luminosity. It is an utterly superb eye serum that delivers real results, and is such a great pleasure to use. Purchase Again? I just opened a new tube!

Vitabrid C¹² Face Brightening Powder ($68.00 for 0.11 oz. from Vitabrid, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue): This is an effective and concentrated Vitamin C-based powder that you simply mix into your favorite serum or moisturizer for brighter, firmer and more luminous skin. It has no scent, no detectable texture, and it immediately dissolves when added to your serum, cream or lotion. To use, I simply shake a small amount into my palm, but if you prefer to carefully measure the amount that you use, they do provide a small scoop for your convenience. This is probably the easiest way to introduce topical Vitamin C into your skincare routine, and unlike liquid-based Vitamin C Serums, this powder form remains more stable. Vitabrid C¹² utilizes their proprietary form of Vitamin C, that is time-released over a period of 12 hours, and the longer that you use it the more benefits that you see. I immediately noticed a brightening effect and increased luminosity, but after using it for a few weeks, I also noted that my skin appeared more even in tone, fine lines were softened and my skin looked fresh and healthy. My skin, which can be sensitive at times, had no adverse reaction to the high concentration of topical Vitamin C, nor did I experience any drying whatsoever. Purchase Again? I just opened another bottle! I will use this as long as they make it!
By Terry Baume de Rose Lip Balm ($54.00 for oz. from Bloomingdale's and SpaceNK): Anytime there is so much hype surrounding a particular product, I tend to approach it with considerable trepidation. In fact, I often categorically reject overhyped products because they generally fall short of my expectations. In the case of the By Terry Baume de Rose, which has undoubtedly garnered cult status, it exceeded my expectations. The result, without any exaggeration, was that my lips were completely healed within one day of use. You read that correctly. That alone served to mollify the buyer's remorse that I might have felt given the staggering price tag.

Baume de Rose has a rather thick consistency that thoroughly coats the lips without feeling heavy or uncomfortable. It is not sticky in the least bit, and has the perfect amount of cushion. It has the quintessential By Terry rose scent, which I find delightful, but may be problematic to those who avoid scented lip products. Baume de Rose imparts a sheer milky pink hue, and it makes my lips appear more plump. In addition to being sumptuous all by itself- it also makes a lovely base for lipstick. Purchase Again? I already opened another jar!
Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Warm Brunette ($37.00 for oz. from $37.00 for 0.01 oz. from NordstromSephora and Space NK): When I first began using my Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, I was struck by its efficacy, easy of use and longevity. This pencil is neither too soft that it loses its form, nor is it too stiff and waxy that it tugs the skin. It effortlessly fills in brows without looking artificial or too severe. The long-wearing water resistant formula stays put  once it sets, and it lasts all day long without fading or migrating. It is housed in a chic and sturdy double-ended metal wand with a unique triangular shaped tip on one and a spoolie brush for grooming brows on the other. I love everything about this brow pencil! Purchase Again? As soon as I finish the 2 brow pencils currently open.
Overall Assessment: As you can see, I really loved the products, and their respective brands, that I used in January. What did you use up, toss out, give away or return in January? Any real winners or duds to report?

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

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  1. This is a long long list! Some excellent products. I used up my Vitabrid Deep Wrinkle Serum but
    when I get home I'm purchasing a new one to use with the Brightening Powder.

    1. I am surprised that I was able to finish all of these up, but to be fair these containers were largely used up so it was largely a final push all month to finish them before they went bad. The Vitabrid Deep Wrinkle Serum is incredible! It pairs perfectly with their Brightening Powder! I love their products so much!

  2. Well done!! I have also used so many of the products you finished, and I concur wholeheartedly! The Tatcha eye products, By Terry rose lip balm, Kerastase hair mask are divine! I need to try both brands of candles, too

    1. I have really been trying to step-up finishing open products. I keep digging things out of my drawers and cabinets that are mostly used up, and I hate for such lovely products to go bad before I get around to finishing them. You and I really do love the same brands. The Kerastase, Tatcha and By Terry are such incredible luxe brands. I think that you would really like both of these candle brands a lot, Allison!


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