I love reading these types of posts and I recently finished off a bunch of beauty products so I thought now would be a good time to put up my first Beauty Empties post. This is similar to the favorites posts, but in these I’ll share products I’ve completely used up and offer my brief review on them. For fun I’m calling this series, Studs & Duds, since I’ll share which products were worthy of a repurchase [Studs] and those that didn’t work for me [Duds]. There may also be some ‘Eh’ products listed that I found rather average. For ease, the Duds are all listed at the bottom in their own section. In the other sections, I’ve listed whether I would repurchase.
Also, I should point out that I don’t go through this many products each month. I recently made a point of trying to use up some of my nearly empty products, so I have more than usual in this first post.
Alba Hawaiian 3 in 1 Towelettes: [Repurchase: YES] While I rarely use face wipes on my face, I do use them to get any makeup off of my neck. Like most people I blend my makeup/bronzer down my neck and then I find that I don’t wash my neck when I wash my face at night. So I use a wipe to remove makeup and any daily pollution from my neck and chest. I really like these ones, LOVE the smell – they smell like Pineapple. I still like my Pacifica Coconut Water wipes, but these will go into rotation.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser: [Repurchase: YES] I use this EVERY SINGLE DAY as my second cleanse at night and often when I wash my face in the morning. I’ve been using it for 15+ years and still love it. I buy these in the massive packs at Costco to get the best deals.
Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner: [Repurchase: YES] Oddly enough, I don’t actually use this as a ‘toner’. After I use the cleansing wipe on my neck and chest, I go back over the are with this toner on a cotton round. It’s refreshing and gentle, I also find that it removes the last bits of dirt and makeup.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Double Detox Mask (Sample Size): [Repurchase: YES] I picked up this trial size as a 100 point perk from Sephora a while back. At the time it was only available in a 5 tiny tube pack, meant to be a 5 week system. I wouldn’t repurchase it for $38 for 5 little vials. It was difficult to get all the product out of the little tube. However, Tarte is now selling this mask in a larger size and I would buy that in a heartbeat. I really did love the effect it had on my skin.
Benefit Total Moisture Face Cream (Sample Size): [Repurchase: YES] I picked this up as part of a sampler set of benefit skincare products. It’s a simple moisture cream, nothing fancy and no SPF. I prefer my face cream and SPF separate so this works for me. I’m currently using something else, but I did like this sample enough to consider purchasing it in the future. I liked that it wasn’t too heavy to use in the summer and soaked into my skin quickly.
Clinique All About Eyes: [Repurchase: YES] Another product I’ve been using for 10-15 years. A definite favorite that I keep going back to when I need an eye cream I can rely on.
Fresh Rose Face Mask: [Repurchase: YES] I love this refreshing face mask, mostly for the smell. I find it hydrating and a bit decadent since it has bits of rose petal in it. The full size is really expensive (~$55) but it lasts a while so I would buy it again when I run out of the one that I already have in my medicine cabinet.
Aquaphor: [Repurchase: YES] Great all purpose healing cream. I use it as a lip balm, on my elbows, dry skin, etc. I always have a tube nearby.
Carmex Lip Balms: [Repurchase: YES] I’m a lip balm fan, since I don’t wear a lot of lip color. Carmex is thick, but not greasy and it lasts a long time so I don’t have to keep reapplying. I like the Cherry stick version best, although I’ve picked up a few other fun flavors lately like Vanilla and Lime.
TIGI S Factor Silky Smooth Moisture Serum: [Repurchase: YES] My hair stylist/colorist work for TIGI so they (obviously) recommended their own line to me when I started going to them about 6 years ago. I LOVE the S-Factor line, the smell is AMAZING. This serum is more of a lotion texture instead of an oil, which I really like, and it keeps the frizz at bay.
Ojon Full Detox Rub-OutDry Shampoo: [Repurchase: No] I don’t know where I got this, and I’ve had it tucked in cabinet for years. It’s not my favorite because it leaves a noticeable white cast in my dark hair. So while it does work well, it’s really pricy and I’ve found drugstore options that I like better. I wouldn’t repurchase.
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil: [Repurchase: MAYBE (I think I’ve found something better)] I featured this in a favorites post a few months back and have finished the bottle (in record time too). I have two other brands that I’m using now (and really liking), but Essie’s was great and the smell wasn’t too ‘chemical-ly’. I also liked that it soaked in quickly so I could go back to my computer work immediately.
Johnson’s Baby Oil Gel (Aloe): [Repurchase: YES in a different scent] I use this product primarily in winter, when my skin is super dry. After I shower, but before I dry off, I slather this stuff all over my body. Then I towel off, removing the excess. It traps in the moisture, leaves my skin super soft, and toweling off after application means that I’m not left with the oily residue. I wouldn’t repurchase the ‘Aloe’ scent again, I just didn’t like it. They have a Cocoa Butter scent that I like much better.
Boots Mango Body Butter: [Repurchase: YES] LOVE this product! Definite favorite, I’m buying the full size soon.
Jergens Hydrating Coconut Milk Crema: [Repurchase: No] Not a bad product, a good cream that has a texture between lotion and body butter. Because I like the Boots Body Butter better, I wouldn’t repurchase this in the future.
Vaseline Intensive Rescue Repairing Moisture (Fragrance Free): [Repurchase: MAYBE, PROBABLY NOT] I would classify this an an ‘Eh’ product. It was my favorite for a while, but I’ve been finding it too watery lately. I’m not sure if they’ve changed the formula, or maybe mine are old. I do like that it’s fragrance free so in the event that I’m looking for a fragrance free lotion, I would repurchase, but it’s not something that I could use in the winter – it’s just too watery.
Let’s be clear up front, I’m not saying these are BAD products, I just found that they did not work well for me. I would not repurchase any of these products and I’ll explain why below, but you may love them and if so, that’s GREAT!
Herbal Essence Heat Protection Spray: My problem with this product isn’t that it didn’t work, it seemed to do the job. However, the only thing I smell is alcohol and my hair felt very dry when using this. I can’t be sure my hair was dry due to this product, but I recently started using something else that is working much better.
L’Oreal Elnett Hairspray (Trial Size): Oh the smell…I can’t stand the smell. I know a lot of people love this hairspray, but the smell triggers terrible allergy like symptoms for me and I just can’t handle it.
Smashbox Eye Primer: Didn’t work, simple as that. My eye shadow creased within 2 hours every time that I used this.
Almay Smart Shade Smart Balance Powder: Has anyone out there used this product? I couldn’t get any of the powder to apply, I even tried scraping off a layer and still I couldn’t pick up any powder on my brush (or any type of applicator).
Elf Eyelash Curler: The top metal plate on mine was too sharp and it started slicing into the rubber pad. As you can imagine if it cut into the rubber pad, it also started cutting through my lashes. I’ve never had this happen before but I wouldn’t take the chance again with their eyelash curler since it caused so much damage to my lashes after only a few uses.
Elf Studio Eye Primer and Liner Sealer: I tried this when my Smashbox version failed on me, but this was a total bomb. Perhaps mine was just dried out, but the texture of the primer was terrible. I couldn’t barely get the product to swipe onto my lid and I had to push so hard that it actually hurt my eyelid. I can’t say whether the liner sealer worked. I use a liner that lasts all day on me, so the sealer didn’t seem to do anything extra.
Simple Radiance Face Cloths: My fault, I shouldn’t have bought these. I should have realized that a ‘radiance’ product would contain some sort of exfoliating texture. These were just far too scratchy for me, and irritated my skin.
*this post contains affiliate links. However, none of these products were provided to me, nor am I being compensated for this post. The products were purchased by me for my own personal use. All opinions are my own.
It’s time to officially swap the flip flops for high heels, because I’ve been assigned to the jury case. I can’t go into any detail, but I can say it’s a criminal case and it’s expected to go on for quite some time.
There is a part of me that has let out a sigh of relief because I finally know. It’s been frustrating each day, not knowing what’s happening the next. It also means that I am forced to regroup at work and hand off my workload to others. I’ll still be able to check in with them each day and help out when I’m not in court, but I finally get some HELP. Oh and I get to dress up and wear heels again, which I’ve actually missed since I started working from home.
As much as I joke around about shoes, I’m not in any way saying this will be easy. I consider this an INCREDIBLY serious responsibility. So please understand if you ask questions, I cannot answer them until after the trial. Even then, I’ll have to see how I feel about sharing my experience. I will say that I feel like it’s an honor to be part of the process and I wish more people wouldn’t try to get out of jury duty; although I completely understand the inconvenience it can cause for everyone involved.
I do not intend to stop blogging and I plan to keep posting as I have been. Though I may miss a day here and there, depending on how busy I am between court/work/personal…etc. I hope you understand.
Just wanted to stop by and share the news. Hope you are all having a great week!
Another Wednesday…Another Food Log!
Before we get into the eats…I’m thinking of getting another little furball. And by little, I mean…
Awwww, aren’t they cute! There are actually three little ones in that sleepy pile. When I was junior high, I wasn’t allowed to have a dog so I got a hamster instead. I named her Muffin…she was my bestest little friend, I took her everywhere. These little ones look exactly like her and I’m smitten. I want to go get one so bad. I’ve already picked out a name…which is a probably a sign that one will be coming home soon. I’m just waiting to find out about jury duty first, but Baxter might have a little sister soon! (Not to actually play with of course…he’d probably eat her on accident. Who am I kidding…she’d scare him silly, he’s a big baby).
Ok, now on to the food.
I’m not much of a cereal fan, but I’ve recently found one that I actually like. Kashi shredded wheat in Island Vanilla is absolutely delicious! It’s healthy and just slightly sweet. It’s perfect with a bit of Organic Milk and a bowl of blueberries.
Did you know that some Panera’s are being built with a Drive thru? It’s genius and today I was able to pick up half a Caesar salad and a Turkey/Bacon/Avocado sandwich without getting out of my car. I could tell Baxter wanted to take a car ride, so that’s why we went through the drive thru…
Oh who am I kidding, he didn’t really want to go…I went their because I was hungry and didn’t want to change out of my yoga pants. The epitome of delicious laziness.
Today is a very long work day. In fact I’m writing this after midnight because I just finished work about 30 minutes ago. I’m going to be in court all day tomorrow so it’s like preparing to go on vacation every single day and I have to clear out as much work as possible in case I have to be in court all week. I broke around 8 for a comfort dinner and made a big bowl of Spaghetti and (frozen) Turkey Meatballs.
Unpictured: a few pieces of chocolate before bed, my eboost and many glasses of water.
I don’t know why, but I’ve been incredibly productive lately. Even with work all day, I still managed to get a workout in and start a few other things around the house. Whatever’s gotten into me…I hope it sticks around.
I always hate when a weekend ends, but this once has been pretty good. I hope everyone else was able to enjoy a few days off, with family, or doing something you enjoy. It was warm here, as expected, so we stayed in most of the time. I did run some errands on Saturday, and caught up on schoolwork. On Sunday I was inspired to get stuff done, so I broke out the tools and worked on the office. While I did buy the supplies for the yard, it was too warm to work outside so I hope to make some progress in the evenings this week.
Looking back, this is what the office looked like when I first moved in. Green carpet and green walls. In fact the whole house was green carpet and green walls, so I wanted to change things up right away…it was just a little too much sage green.
I’ve shared this part of the transformation before, but in case you missed it, I’ll recap. I had originally planned for this to be a vintage travel themed room. Dark walls, vintage travel posters and strictly for the day job. I have another spare bedroom which was going to be my personal office, but that has since been turned into an actual spare bedroom. While I do like the color, it’s very cozy…it’s too dark. I realized that fairly soon, and never did the second coat of paint that it required. You’ll be able to see the spotting paint job in the below pictures.
I didn’t clean up before taking these ‘Before’ pictures a while back…ya know, keeping it real. I’ve since changed a few things, but for the most part it looks pretty much the same.
Right side of the room…
Due to the angle, I can’t get a picture of the whole room without taking the door off it’s hinges (not gonna happen right now). So you’ll have to deal with these split up shots as the re-design continues. I do plan on painting the door at some point, so I’ll try to get a full photo then.
Left side of the room…
You can see the white blinds in the shots above. I removed them a few months ago and replaced them with bamboo blinds. While the white blinds are nice, they were broken on the window behind the bike and expensive to replace since their considered custom sizes. It’s a builder grade home with custom windows…go figure.
This next phase was to add moulding to the windows before I get started painting. The first time I ever cut window moulding, I did it by hand with a MITRE box and hand saw…holy torture. I can move a queen size mattress & box spring up 3 flights of stairs by myself, but I can’t cut a piece of moulding by hand. Seriously! So when my dad helped me with another moulding project (yet to be shared on the blog), he left his MITRE saw for me to use. AMAZING! The last moulding project took me nearly all day to finish…this project took less than an hour and I did 3 windows (2 in the office and 1 in my bathroom).
I still need to fill and caulk the moulding, but I’m excited to finally see some progress in the room.
Before – Window 1
After – Window 1
Before – Window 2
After – Window 2
- Fill & Caulk the Moulding
- Repaint the Whole Room (Including window moldings)
Fingers Crossed – I’ll have another update for you next week.
Hooray! It’s the weekend!
I’m really excited for this weekend, not only because it’s a few days off…but I’m hoping to make some progress around the house. If the weather cooperates I’m planning to install the faux grass in the yard and I’d also like to make some progress in the office. The windows need moulding and I think I have finally picked the color. Not sure if I’ll be able to get all the painting done…it’s supposed to be around 100 degrees, so it may just be too uncomfortable, but we’ll see.
The plan is to paint the walls a neutral beige/grey/taupe color, in fact I think I’m going to use the color I used on the potting bench, just color matched for interior. I’ve already swapped out the broken white blinds for bamboo shades, exactly the same as the ones installed in the spare bedroom. I’ll share those once I have the moulding installed.
Here are a few other things I hope to incorporate into the room.
The fan is a must since the summers are very warm and I prefer not to use the AC if I can avoid it. I’ve been searching for the perfect fan, and this is it! It’s modern, clean and has efficient lighting. Plus, it’s not too expensive…something that is rare for a beautiful fan.
I want to incorporate some comfortable seating in the office, aside from my office chair. I’m in here so often that it would be nice to have a comfy blogging or reading spot. Let’s face it, the pup will probably enjoy sleeping in here with me too.
I’d like to install an ‘L’ shaped desk in the office. It’s a bit difficult to describe the vision I have in my head, but I’d like to use this dining table for one side of the ‘L’ and build the other side to look like the below picture (with the shelving as well). I like that the table is high enough to fit my filing cabinet underneath it, and I can use the frosted glass top as a light box for my art.
Here are a few photos that are an inspiration for design and color scheme.
This is purely inspiration for color…I adore this combo. So clean and refreshing.
Today has been a much better day than yesterday, and the best part is that I now have a working Air Conditioner! Wait no…the best part is that the repairs were under warranty and it didn’t cost me a penny (YAY!). The AC unit will need to be replaced in the next year or so, but it’s working and that’s all that matters right now.
I woke up wanting something special this morning. I am in love with the Uncured Trader Joe’s Turkey Bacon, it’s absolutely delicious. By far the best I’ve ever tasted. I paired it with 2 Van’s Protein Waffles and a big scoop of blueberries.
This is a repeat meal on the blog, and I stole this picture from a previous post. However, I ate exactly this meal. It’s a big bowl of romaine lettuce, a chopped up chicken breast, Parmesan cheese, and Trader Joe’s Cilantro Dressing. I eat this for lunch all the time since it’s quick, easy, filling and healthy. Sometimes I like to add a scoop of black beans or quinoa to change things up.
I’ve been seriously craving BBQ lately so my entire dinner was created around BBQ sauce. I just bought some sweet potatoes so I topped the potato with grilled chicken and BBQ sauce. I paired it with a plate full of sautéed garlic green beans. So, it’s not quite like local BBQ faire, but it worked in a pinch.
One of my favorite snacks is lunch meat, particularly the Rotisserie Style Chicken from…where else…Trader Joe’s! I also had a bit of chocolate (not at the same time as the chicken) from my Dark Chocolate stash. By chocolate stash, I mean the last Dark Chocolate Holiday bar that I’ve been hoarding because it’s my favorite and I can’t get it until Christmas time. Damn you Trader Joe’s seasonal specials! I’m stocking up next year, hope no one else in my city wants these chocolate bars…I’m buying them out! 🙂
As usual, water and eboost are unpictured.
I had a completely different post planned for today, a DIY for new succulent terrariums! I had all the stuff set up to do after work, but (and this is the most random part of my day) a bird got into the house this afternoon and made them his home for a bit. I kid you not, he wandered around the plants then apparently kicked them on the floor when he freaked out…plus he pooped all over the actual terrariums during his visit. I couldn’t make this stuff up folks. I didn’t take a picture because I was more concerned about the safety of the bird, then I had to get the mess up before my pup tried to eat a cactus.
The bird made it safely out of the house, in case you were concerned.
Later there were lots of stress induced tears (related to work, not the bird)…and it was just a bad day all around. Sigh.
I have been digging back into homework lately. I think I’ve officially forgotten how to study, can that happen? I’ve highlighted nearly every sentence and I’ve made a ton of note cards…and that’s just Chapter 1. Clearly I have a lot of learning to do!
On a more positive note – The AC guy is coming back tomorrow (well probably today depending on when you’re reading this). I finally got my AC fixed about a month ago and it was a glorious month of cool air. Then 2 days before a massive heat wave rolled in, it broke again. The temps hit 111 here that weekend and we actually had to leave and stay with family because it was just too hot in the house to sleep. Hopefully it’s a quick and inexpensive fix since it’s going to be a very hot summer. Fingers crossed!
Hope you are all having a good week and don’t mind a quick little random check in.
…a little reminder for myself on these super bad days…