Yikes, I can’t believe it’s been more than half a year since my last post! My life got pretty hectic last summer once I started preparing for the fall recruit, and it felt like things haven’t really slowed down until now. Last term was just cray cray for me. But as late December I’ve completed all of my classes, and since then have done a trip to Palm Springs, a case comp in Regina, and a trip to Vegas, and now it’s time for bum life! Woohoo. For the past two weeks I’ve just been living the good life with no classes or a job. It feels great.
Anyways, during all that I have been saving all my empties, and I wanted to do a giant empties post to share my thoughts on everything I’ve used up in the past half year. So be warned, this post is gonna crazy long and picture heavy! :p I think I probably have a gazillion products to show you. Ok maybe not a gazillion. But close.
Alright, grab some popcorn ’cause this is a going to be a long one! Here goes:
Last May was when school ended, and I had a few weeks of nothingness before I started a summer program to prepare me for the recruit. I was mostly at home during the day so I didn’t get through a ton of makeup, but managed to use up a ton of skincare.
Asian Brand BB Cream – I picked this up when I was in China last summer. At first I didn’t like it because it left me looking oily but once I started using it with a beauty blender it was love. Would I repurchase? No. Too many other BB creams to try!
Assorted Starlooks Foundations – I can’t remember what all of the formulas are anymore. What I do remember was that they were a pretty good colour match for my skin. Nothing really stood out to me though. Would I repurchase? No. Nothing was amazing. And especially with all the Starlooks drama, I don’t really trust the brand.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream – I love how generous Kiehl’s is with samples everytime I buy anything. This was a good moisturizer, unscented and I’m sure great for sensitive skin, but it didn’t wow me. Would I repurchase? No.
Philosophy Eye Hope – I didn’t really notice any difference in my eye area after using this. Plus, as with all other Philosophy skincare products, it kinda smells funky. Would I repurchase? No.
3M Acne Dressing – A friend gave this to me when she came back from Hong Kong; I think it’s only sold in Asia. Basically they’re little silicone (?) patches you put on pimples and it sucks all the oil outta them. They were super cool. I would put them on before bed and the next morning I could literally see the oil and junk they sucked out of my face, as gross as that sounds. Would I repurchase? Yes, if I could find it.
Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion+ Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ For Face/Body – Whew, what a mouthful of a name. I liked this a lot. It was lightweight, didn’t leave a white cast on my face, didn’t slide off when I sweated or leave me looking like a greaseball, and smelled great. And most importantly, I never got sunburnt when I was using it. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel – This was a nice cool gel, it felt really soothing and moisturizing and I liked that it was a really lightweight gel. But I don’t have saggy wrinkly eyes so I can’t comment on the lifting action of this. Would I repurchase? No.
LA Fresh Travel Lite Anti Perspirant Wipes – I used these on a short trip to LA and found them to be effective. I think they’re definitely a great space saver if you need to pack light for a short trip but seem awful for the environment given how much waste they create. Would I repurchase? No.
L’Oreal Lash Boosting Serum – I used this on and off for about two years until I finally buckled down for a few months and used it twice or sometimes even thrice daily when I was at home during the day. I think I saw some growth in terms of length and fullness to my lashes, but honestly the results were nothing spectacular. Would I repurchase? No. I’m way too lazy for this stuff. I’ll stick to mascara.
Neutrogena All in One Makeup Removing Cleansing Wipes – These wipes are a godsend. They cut through makeup and wash your face gently so you don’t even need to rinse after. They don’t completely take off waterproof makeup, but on those late nights when you’re tired, who cares? Would I repurchase? Yes. HG face wipes!
Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover – I’ve been using this all my life because I swear it comes with every single Lancome GWP ever. I have a huge hoard of them from my mom’s and my own purchases. I never realized how great it was until I switched to a different makeup remover after finishing this bottle. It’s super effective, and gentle, and doesn’t leave my eyes feeling like they’re soaked with oil. Would I repurchase? Yes, if I ever ran out. Which will probably be never.
Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel – This was ok. I think it’d be good for girls with sensitive skin. It left my face feeling clean and took off most of my makeup, but it wasn’t anything special. Would I repurchase? No.
La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub – I really liked this scrub. It felt really gentle and not harsh or abrasive like many other scrubs. The beads in it are super fine as the name suggests and after using my face was super smooth. Would I repurchase? Yes.
pH Beauty Shea Nut Foot Scrub – I felt like this had been in my house for years so I set out to use it up. It’s fairly effective when used with a pumice stone, and it smells good. I think it’s pretty cheap too. It takes some muscle to get feet smooth, but it made my feet feel soft even if it didn’t scrub everything off. Would I repurchase? Maybe if it was on sale.
Honeycat Cosmetics Calypso Kitty Moisturizing Tropical Body Scrub – Mmmm this scrub smelled sooo good. It did a good job of exfoliating my skin, but I wasn’t a fan of the oily albeit moisturized feeling it left me with. Would I repurchase? No.
St. Ives Healthy Brilliance Firm & Glow Body Moisturizer with Caffeine – I remember I bought this a few days before prom back in grade 12. At the time, it wasn’t a great choice because it takes a few days for the bronzing effect to show up, so if you’re looking for an instant tan this wouldn’t be it. But I love how it provides a gradual glow over a few days and doesn’t have that awful fake tanner smell, and left me feeling super moisturized and smooth. Would I repurchase? Maybe.
L’Occitane Ultra Rich Shower Cream – I think I got this as a GWP. This was super moisturizing and had a nice light scent. It’s supposed to be used as body wash and shampoo, and I think it doesn’t have any soap in it so it’d be great for gals doing the no poo method. It made my hair super soft when I used it, but I found my scalp got oily really quickly. Would I repurchase? Probably not, it’s pretty expensive and I prefer foaming body washes, which this is not.
Roberto Cavalli Perfumed Shower Gel – I got this in a Topbox one month. It smelled great and was super foamy, but I don’t think I would like the perfume for every day use. It was pretty strong scent that screamed “sexy,” which I am not. Or at least not trying to portray myself as haha. Would I repurchase? No.
Pantene Repair & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner – These were ok, but nothing special. Would I repurchase? No.
John Freida Touchably Full Shampoo – I bought the dry shampoo from the same line a year ago and thought the awful smell was because of the aerosol can, but when I used this shampoo it had the same smell! So stinky. I didn’t find it made my hair any more volumized either. Would I repurchase? No.
June & July
June and July were busier months for me because I was preparing for recruiting and doing practice cases pretty much daily. But I still had quite a bit of free time and took lots of breaks at home, so I got through quite a bit of skincare and bath and body type products.
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara – I think using this in conjunction with lash serums definitely grew my lashes a bit, although it was nothing life changing. I wasn’t a huge fan of this formula. While I liked that it kept my lashes really soft and pettable (do you know what I mean? Like they weren’t crunchy or hard and were flexible if you touched them) but it didn’t do much in terms of length or volume. It’d be good for a daytime look, but with my short stubby lashes I need something that gives me a bit more oomph. Would I repurchase? No.
Sugar Lip Treatment – I got this for my birthday from Sephora and holy moly – life changing. This stuff is HG material. I love the scent and taste, and it makes my lips super moisturized, and I love that it has SPF. The packaging in the metal tube feels super luxe as well. Would I repurchase? Yes. I already have.
Lashem Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancing Serum – I got this from a swap as an extra, and was happy to get it but honestly the amount inside was good for maybe three uses, which is nowhere near enough to see any difference. Would I repurchase? Probably not.
Marchesa Parfum D’Extase – I really like this scent! I did the Scent IQ thing at Sephora and the associate made me a sample of this when she saw it in my results. It’s a really gorgeous mix of fresh florals and a bit of musk. It smells super feminine and romantic but complex and sophisticated. The strongest note I notice on me is jasmine. I don’t think I like it enough to buy a bottle though. Would I repurchase? No
Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector for Combination to Oily Skin – I loved this stuff! The light shade was a great match for my skin and it’s the only BB cream I’ve used so far that gives medium coverage and leaves me matte and shine free without oxidizing and making me look oompa loompa orange. Would I repurchase? Yes, I’ve since bought a full size tube.
Dermalogica Clean Start Brighten Up SPF 15 – This was basically a tinted moisturizer with a bit of shimmer and SPF. If I had perfect skin I think this would be great, but alas, I don’t. This sheers out to pretty much minimal coverage and left me looking oily by noon. Would I repurchase? No.
Boscia BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 27 PA++ – I go for this sample every time it comes up on Sephora’s online checkout. I think it does a good job of adjusting to my skintone, although I can’t imagine it would work for anyone extremely fair or dark skinned. I love that it has fairly high SPF and leaves me looking a bit dewy without looking like an oilslick, but it’s a bit too light in terms of coverage for me to use on a daily basis. Would I repurchase? Probably, once I use up all of my samples.
Biotherm Biosource Toning Water – I really liked this toner. I used it with my Biosource cleanser and felt like together they left my skin really clean and fresh feeling without feeling dry or tight. This toner smelled really good, and it was great for getting rid of last traces of makeup and leaving my skin feeling moisturized and balanced. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum – I got this as part of a free goodie bag from Sephora when they first opened their Canadian Website. This smells just like orange creamsicles. The texture is really light and I felt like it spread easily and soaked in quickly. I’m still using it in conjunction with my Truth Creme, but so far I don’t think it’s done anything significant in terms of improving brightness or increasing dark spots. Would I repurchase? No.
Neutrogena All in One Makeup Removing Cleansing Wipes – I already reviewed this above. I love these wipes! Would I repurchase? Yes.
Dermalogica Pre Cleanse – I got this in a Luxe Box last year and am glad I did. It introduced me to cleansing oils. I really like using this during the summer because I felt like it was the quickest and most effective way to cut through all the layers of sunscreen and makeup on my face. It was great for taking off every little bit of makeup so I felt like my face was extra clean after I used my regular cleanser, and there was never anything on my cotton pad when I used toner so I know it did a great job of removing makeup. It felt really luxe, and I liked the smell, but I don’t know if it’s completely necessary for me as I usually don’t wear a lot of makeup. Would I repurchase? Probably not, I’d like to but it’s hella expensive!
Montagne Jeunesse Passion Peel Off – I loved using this peel off mask! It’s so fun to peel it off in a big chunk. I find that there’s enough for two uses as well in a pack, so it makes these already dirt cheap masks even more affordable. It smelled great and was a ton of fun to use, and it left my skin feeling clean and soft. Would I repurchase? Yes.
ELF Clarifying Oil Blotting Sheets – These are super budget friendly, but not the best quality. It takes me forever to get through a pack of blotting sheets, so personally I don’t mind spending more for better blotting sheets, but if you go through a lot these are great since they’re so cheap! I found that these ripped really easily, and they’re kind of small so you need to use more than one to do your whole face. I’ve started using Boscia blotting linens and they’re soo much nicer. Would I repurchase? No.
Prevage Triple Defense SPF 50 Sunscreen Sheer Lotion – I loved this sunscreen. It was super lightweight and felt so silky and smooth going on. It felt moisturizing and it didn’t leave me greasy or with a white cast. Would I repurchase? No, too expensive! If I had the money I would though.
Juice Beauty Green Apple Cleansing Gel, Age Defy Serum, and Age Defy Moisturizer – I love that these products were organic, and I felt like they left my face feeling clean and hydrated, but they had the strangest funky pickle smell. Would I repurchase? No.
Racinne Ultimate Hydra Perfection Series – These left my face feeling hydrated and smooth, but I didn’t feel like they did anything special for my skin. Would I repurchase? No.
Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer – Can you tell I was hella tan this summer? I was pretty much indoors most of the summer practicing case interviews either at home or at UBC’s Robson Square which is underground, so I was super jealous of all my tan friends. These samples did a great job of giving me a natural looking tan that wasn’t streaky, and I think they’ve been reformatted so that they don’t have that awful fake tan smell they used to have. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Just Being Sexy Body Bronzer – I got a couple of samples of this in a Beauty Box 5 box, but I couldn’t bring myself to use the other packet. This does a great job of giving an instant tan and has really nice fine shimmer particles so your skin looks all glowy and pretty, but it smells like rust (yuck) and it harsh stained my hands. Plus I really don’t like the branding. The name makes me think this is geared toward middle aged women with too much money trying to well, just be sexy …No thanks. Would I repurchase? No.
Violet Oasis Therapeutic Body Butter in Orange, Vanilla & Fennel – I got this in the summer beauty bag I bought from the Shopping Channel and ahmagah this was love at first smell. This smelled amazing and it made my skin so so soft and moisturized. It’s a body butter so it’s quite a bit thicker than a lotion and felt so rich and luxe going on and made my skin feel so moisturized without feeling greasy. Would I repurchase? One day, but I have a million tubs and bottles of moisturizer to go through first!
Quince Relaxing Body Butter with Chamomile & Lavender – Another heavenly smelling body butter! I got this in a Starlooks box as a extra, which they suggested to mix with a bronzing pigment they sent. I used it on my own all over my body and loved it. It was super rich and moisturizing, and the scent was so pleasant and calming. Would I repurchase? This is another eventual purchase once I get through my stash! I liked it that much.
L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream – I was surprised to find that this wasn’t the same formula as the original :( It smelled nice, but I found the scent a bit cloying if I put on too much. I definitely prefer the texture of the original, which I find way more moisturizing. Would I repurchase? Yes, but in original.
Dermadoctor KP Duty Intensive Priming Serum and Moisturizing Therapy – This was definitely very moisturizing, but I would never pay for this because I find that any rich moisturizer helps with KP. I’ve had KP pretty much all my life and I’ve found the only thing that really helps is time. My skin’s gotten so much better as I’ve gotten older on its own, and I really don’t think targeted products do much. Would I repurchase? No.
Organix Rejuvenating Cherry Blossom Ginseng Shampoo and Conditioner – This smelled great, but I had to use SO much to make my hair feel clean with the shampoo and saturated with conditioner. Plus the texture came out really weird – it was like a thick gel that didn’t pool together, as if you were squeezing jello out of a squeeze tube. Would I repurchase? No.
Matrix Biolage Keratindose Shampoo and Conditioner – The packet was only enough for a one time use, and while it felt nice it didn’t feel amazing. Would I repurchase? No.
Hask Macadamia Oil Hydrating Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment – This made my hair feel super hydrated! I had really long hair at the time that was dry and awful and this made it feel soft and silky for a few days. The plastic packet was annoying though to make sure it didn’t tip over and spill. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Veet Rasera Hair Removal Gel Cream – I bought this ages ago in high school I think and decided to use it up. It’s pretty effective and got rid of all my hair sans any nicks from shaving, but I think I’ll stick to epilating. Would I repurchase? No.
Bath and Body Works Paris Amour Shower Gel – I find that BBW shower gels foam really well but this one smelled too sickly sweet for me. Would I repurchase? Not in this scent.
August was a pretty stressful month for me, preparing for interviews and then finding out I would be going to Toronto for interviews. So as always, my time at home meant that I used up lots of skincare samples :p
American Apparel Lipgloss in Pasadena – I only used this gloss a few times before the tube cracked :( So sad. The pigmentation was really good on this, but it was really sticky and my hair would always get stuck in it, which is why I didn’t use it often. Would I repurchase? No.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Clear and Rose – I absolute love this in Rose. It’s so moisturizing and it gives my lips a bit of gloss and natural looking colour. So much better than lipstick since it never sinks into lines or migrates far from lips. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Bare Minerals Mineral Veil – This is the second tub of Mineral Veil that I’ve used up and as long as I use BM foundation I’ll probably keep repurchasing. It does a great job of adding a transparent finishing touch that somehow makes my face look a little bit better, like it’s in soft focus. It’s great for setting other foundations too! Would I repurchase? Yes.
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation – I got a couple of samples of this from magazines and absolutely loved it! The colour in the samples was a perfect match for my skin tone. The medium coverage went on smoothly and the fine shimmer gives a glowy effect without looking fake or sparkily. I’ll definitely be buying this if I ever see it on sale! Would I repurchase? Yes.
Ferro Cosmetics Ultimate HD Mineral Foundation – I got this in a Topbox I think and while the container sucked (it was just an open jar that erupted in a cloud of powder every time it was opened), once I put it into a sifter I really liked it. It’s supposedly a foundation, concealer, and powder in one and I would say this was true, it was full coverage and left me matte and not at all powdery. Would I repurchase? Maybe, it’s just as good as my Bare Minerals foundation and cheaper, but I can’t buy it at Sephora so it’s harder to get my hands on.
Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer – Honestly… Ain’t nobody got time for that. Would I repurchase? No. In all seriousness, I found this to be a completely unnecessary product for myself as I don’t have any problems with my concealer migrating, but it might be great for those who do.
L’Oreal Miracle Lift Blur – This is such a weird (in a good way) product! I tried it on my hand when I first got it and right away you could see how where I used it looked like it was in soft focus and were no fine lines or pores. On my face I think it only was useful when I had no makeup on as again it gave me that soft focus effect, but then I would be red or oily throughout the day. I think this would be great for older women with wrinkles as a last step on top of foundation though. Would I repurchase? Not until I’m wrinkly.
Calvin Klein Sheer Beauty – This was a really nice light floral scent. Very feminine and romantic without being overpowering. Would I repurchase? No.
See By Chloe – I love this scent. As soon as I tried it I couldn’t stop sniffing myself, it smells so unique and delicious. It smells just like spring time to me; warm and of apple blossoms. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Marc Jacobs Daisy – I know this is such a popular scent but I really don’t like it. It smells cold and a bit harsh and artificial to my nose. On some people it smells great, but I’m not a fan of it on myself. Would I repurchase? No.
Viva La Juicy – I think is such a good fragrance embodiment of the Juicy Couture brand. It smells so sweet and playful, and the mix of vanilla and berries and honeysuckle smell sooo good. Would I repurchase? Yes.
LA Fresh Makeup Removing Wipe – I think I got this from a beauty box. It did it’s job, but it wasn’t anything special. Would I repurchase? No.
Murad Clarifying Cleanser – I love the scent of this face wash! It smells like a lime margarita. It left my face feeling clean without dryness or tightness, and I never broke out while I used this. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Boscia Pore Refining Black Strips – I bought a box after having used Biore for years in high school to see what the hype was about and to compare. They are somewhat better, but if you’re on a budget I would still go for the Biore ones. I liked that these were black so you could see all the gunk on them after you pulled it off (I’m gross like that). They feel a bit more gentle than the Biore ones, but I think they did a similar job. Would I repurchase? No, I’ll stick to buying them from the drugstore.
Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips – As I said above, these are just as effective and a heck of a lot cheaper than more expensive ones. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Boscia Bright White Mask – I had high hopes for this mask to brighten my face but I don’t think it did much. It felt calming and moisturizing on my face, and it was fun to peel off, but I don’t think I saw any difference in my dark spots. Would I repurchase? No.
My Scheming Camellia Japonica Hydrating Mask – A friend brought a box of assorted My Scheming masks back from Taiwan for me a year or so ago, and I’ve been slowly using them up. This was lot of fun to use and fit my face really well. It feels super calming and moisturizing, and I definitely felt like my skin was more hydrated and glowy afterwards. Would I repurchase? Probably if I found it.
Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 – I really liked this sunscreen. It was lightweight, non-greasy, and quickly sank into my face. It didn’t leave a white cast, and it felt like there was nothing on my face. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Bliv Off With Those Heads, Oil Leviate, and Squeaky Clean – I used all of these together and they actually did a great job of living up to their claims. My blackheads were gone after using the blackhead gel, and the oil control gel did a great job of mattifying my face during the day. I liked using the face wash as well – my face felt super clean afterwards. Would I repurchase? Probably not, since I started using my Aria I don’t have a big problem with blackheads anymore.
Prevage Anti Aging Daily Serum and Hydrating Fluid – The Elizabeth Arden counter lady gave me these samples to try out when I told her I wanted to lighten my dark spots from the sun. They felt and smelled super luxurious going on, but I didn’t notice any difference after using them. Would I repurchase? No.
Parissa Azulene Oil – I finally managed to use one of these up! I have so many of these lying around that I always forget to use. It definitely does a good job of preventing ingrown hairs after waxing or shaving, but it’s so messy to use and the applicator is really difficult so I never use it. Would I repurchase? No.
Tend Skin – This stings something AWFUL if you get it in the wrong place. It does a great job of preventing in grown hairs but be careful using it – if it gets in a cut it will burn. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Pedi Scrub Foot Buffer – I got this from Beauty Box 5. I’d never heard of this brand or seen this product before, but I think it’s pretty neat! It’s basically a sponge with two sides, a soft normal sponge and a harder more abrasive side that’s caked with soapy stuff. I don’t think it did a great job of getting rid of rough skin but my feet felt pampered and softer after using this. Would I repurchase? No, I’m too lazy for this sort of thing.
Cuccio Naturale Butter Blend in Pomegranate and Fig – This butter blend is really lightweight for a butter and very moisturizing, although I felt like it took a while to sink in. It smelled great but didn’t wow me. Would I repurchase? No.
LA Fresh Nail Polish Remove Wipe – This took off my nail polish pretty easily. One wipe was good for all five fingers of one hand, although I didn’t try it with glitter polish. I didn’t like the papery fabric of the wipe though – it ripped pretty easily and felt like it dried out rather quickly. Would I repurchase? No.
Revlon Shine ‘N Buff – I’ve had this for years and finally decided it was too dingy and had to be let go. I think this a great multi-purpose product with everything you need for your nails. The 4 step buff makes your nails super shiny, but I wish the surface area was a bit bigger – I felt like my nails would get scratched accidentally sometimes by the edges of the filing surfaces. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Go Smile AM and PM Whitening Toothpaste – I got these from the Shopping Channel’s summer beauty bag. I liked that they didn’t have that strong mint taste that most toothpastes have, so it didn’t hurt my tongue. Instead, the AM had a slightly citrusy taste that was energizing, while the PM had a soothing lavender and chamomile taste. I can’t say I noticed a big difference in my teeth, but I really enjoyed using these samples. Would I repurchase? No.
Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips – I keep getting sample packets of these from boxes. I used this a few weeks before I had recruiting interviews and definitely saw a whiter smile after 2 hours, but not as white as how my teeth looked after doing the 2 week treatments I’ve used from Crest in the past. Plus these made my teeth super sensitive for a day. Still, they’re great for a quick whiten before something important. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Repair Conditioner – I keep getting samples of this shampoo and conditioner so I keep using it. I have no complaints – it leaves my hair feeling clean and soft but it’s nothing special. Would I repurchase? Maybe if it’s on sale but otherwise no.
Element Body Essentials Silky Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner – I got this as part of a prize pack from winning a contest on Samantha’s blog, Beautiful, Free and Wonderful. I didn’t have any expectations for this product since I’d never heard of the brand, but holy moly, my hair was sooo soft and volumized when I used this. I was actually so sad when I used up these samples! Especially at the time, my hair was long and heavy and dry, I saw a huge difference using these products. Would I repurchase? Yes.
La Coupe Argan Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner – These samples smelled nice but I didn’t notice any changes in my hair after using them. Would I repurchase? No.
Bumble and bumble Gentle Shampoo and Super Rich Conditioner – I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect since I love Bumble and Bumble hair products so much but I felt like my hair was really soft and hydrated feeling after using these. Would I repurchase? Not until I make more money.
Bumble and bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner – I definitely noticed my hair was more volumized after using these, and they smelled sooo good. Would I repurchase? One day I will splurge.
John Freida Brilliant Brunette Colour Protecting Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner – Yum, these smelled like coconut and made my hair smell soo yummy. My boyfriend always noticed and complimented after I washed my hair with these. I don’t know if they protected my colour, but my hair felt soft and moisturized after using these. Would I repurchase? Yes.
I did a lot travelling back and forth between Vancouver and Toronto in September for interviews, so I got through a ton of travel sized products.
Benefit They’re Real Mascara – HG mascara. I used this for all my interviews because I would put it on at 7am and coming home at 11pm after a day of running around to multiple interviews and dinners with firms my lashes looked the same as they did that morning, with no smudges. This basically wears like a waterproof mascara without having the hassle of actually being waterproof when it comes to removing. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara – This mascara gives lashes a really clean, defined look that lengthens and volumizes in a natural way. I love that it’s made with natural ingredients, but only wish it gave more volume. It’s a great daytime mascara though. Would I repurchase? Yes, I’ve already bought and cracked open a full size.
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat – What I learned from these samples was that I am most definitely not a No 1 or No 2. They worked well as a highlight, but gave me reverse racoon eyes. Would I repurchase? Yes if I get colour matched correctly one day.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup – I really liked the medium coverage and slightly dewy finish of this, it did great job of covering up my uneven skintone but still looking very natural. Would I repurchase? Yes, I’ve already bought a full size.
Givenchy Lovely Prism – This was a gift. It smells pretty similar to DKNY’s Be Delicious, which I also own and love, so I would use this so I didn’t use up my bottle of Be Delicious haha. Would I repurchase? No.
Biore Pore Refining Black Strips – I already reviewed this above. Would I repurchase? No.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Original Formula Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel – I definitely noticed my face looked a bit brighter and more glowy after using this, and my skin felt really soft and smooth, but the thought of using a chemical peel scares me a bit so I gave the box to my mom. My mom loves these though and insist they make her skin look amazing. Would I repurchase? No.
Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Treatment Mask – Masks are always fun to use, but I didn’t notice my dark spots looking any lighter after using this mask. Would I repurchase? No.
ELF Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths – These were effective for taking off makeup, but I found that I would get one or two little pimples after nights where I didn’t wash my face after using these. Boo! Would I repurchase? No.
B Kamins Nia Stem Moisturizer – This was a lightweight moisturizer I used at night. It was nice but nothing special. Would I repurchase? No.
Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub – I really liked this scrub! I loved that its made with organic natural ingredients, and the jojoba beads felt really smooth and not at all harsh or abrasive on my skin. I like to think that the charcoal drew out impurities as well while I exfoliated. The only thing was that the scent wasn’t the best, it smelled very natural and yeasty. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer – Another light moisturizer I used at night. Hydrating, but nothing amazing. Would I repurchase? No.
Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector – I used these religiously morning and night and at the end, which was equivalent to half a bottle I saw some of my dark spots noticeably lighter, although still there. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer – I like how this has a very high SPF, which is great for summer when I’m an a rush and don’t want to put on a layer of moisturizer, and then another layer of sunscreen on top. On it’s own it left my face a bit greasy looking though. Would I repurchase? No.
Nivea Extra Nourishing Body Milk – I liked the light texture of this, which sank in quickly and kept my skin feeling soft all day, and made my hands feel moisturized. The scent was a bit strong for me. Would I repurchase? No.
St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Moisturizer in Medium Dark – I got this in a prize package from Kathy of Take Her Word. It was my first time using a product from St. Tropez and I loved it! I was a little nervous to use it at first because it was labelled for medium to dark skin and I’m pretty light, but the lotion is white and really does give a slow gradual tan after using it for a week. The scent is super luxe and made my skin smell so good without any hint of fake tanner smell, and the lotion made my skin super soft. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Biotherm Biomains Age Delaying Hand & Nail Treatment – I love how even after washing my hands, my skin still feels moisturized and not at all like I washed off all the lotion the way some other hand creams do. The scent is light and pleasant. Would I repurchase? Maybe.
A Scent by Issey Miyake Shower Gel and Lotion – I did not like the scent at all of this sample set. It smells so strong and grandma like. Luckily the bottles were small and I used them up pretty quick. Would I repurchase? No.
Tree Hut Shea Body Butter in Tropical Mango – THIS. So good. I love how the product is made with organic ingredients, and I swear this body butter smelled good enough to eat, like a mango smoothie. I loved putting this on, the scent was so delicious and made it an absolute treat to apply. Would I repurchase? Yes, I’d buy tubs and tubs but they aren’t carried in Canada! :'(
Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Shampoo and Conditioner – I got a bunch of these samples and even though I’m not blonde, shampoo is shampoo to me so I used them. I can’t comment on how blonde this made my tresses, but I can say this smelled great! Like sweet lemonade. It lathered really well and the conditioner made my hair smooth. Would I repurchase? No.
John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Colour Protecting Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes.
L’Oreal Power Moisture Shampoo, Conditioner, and Moisture Infusion Mask – Packets of these were being handed out like candy on the streets during the Toronto Film Festival so I took a few. At the time my hair was long, thick, and horribly dry and I really did notice a difference after using these, especially the moisture infusion mask. The mask felt like it penetrated really deeply into my hair and kept my hair soft even after shampooing again. It smells lovely as well. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Living Proof Prime Style Extender – I really don’t know if this did anything. In hindsight, I should have curled my hair or something to test out if it really did do anything to extend the life of my hair style, but I didn’t, so I don’t think I can say if this works. I liked that after putting it in I couldn’t tell any difference though. It didn’t feel like it added any extra weight or crunchiness to my hair – if anything, it made my hair smoother after blowdrying. Would I repurchase? Maybe.
October saw me flying out to Toronto for offer parties, and then the craziness of trying to catch up for my midterms after missing the majority of classes. Not fun.
Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray – This stuff is a lifesaver on days you know you’ll be out all day and need to look good. A couple of sprays after putting on makeup in the morning and my makeup stays put and keeps me shine free all day. So good. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Tarte Park Avenue Princess Mineral Powder Bronzer – I really liked this bronzer, it didn’t work for contouring but gave a really natural bronze glow to my cheeks. Would I repurchase? Yes, I already bought it but in a darker shade.
Ole Henriksen Perfect Truth CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – This CC cream smells just like the familiar orange creamsicle scent of the other products in the “Truth” line of products. I used this over my Truth Creme and it glided on super smoothly, and gave light coverage that left my skin tone evened out and gave me a dewy finish without leaving me oily. Would I repurchase? Maybe.
Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo – I was surprised how much I liked this little pod of foundation! It’s super full coverage and long lasting, to the point where it was little too much coverage. Once I sheered it out a bit by using it with a wringed out beauty blender it was perfect though, giving me medium coverage and a long lasting natural finish. On it’s own I’d say this would work as a concealer as well since it’s so pigmented. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus – Using this after using Clinique’s Clinical Dark Spot Treatment I think I saw continued gradual lightening of my dark spots, but my skin probably doesn’t need the other anti-aging/age-reversing benefits. Would I repurchase? No.
Olay Fresh Effects Shine, Shine Go Away Shine Minimizing Cleanser – This cleanser has the strangest silvery colour coming out of the tube. It smells really fresh, but I don’t think it really keeps my skin from getting oily. Would I repurchase? No.
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser – This has a really light barely there fragrance and makes my face feel clean without being stripped of moisture. I have a full size bottle that I keep at my boyfriend’s house that he uses as well. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Sephora Age Defy Moisture Cream SPF 15 – I only used this because I like travelling with as little as possible, which means a moisturizer with SPF instead of bringing both a day cream and sunscreen. I don’t need anti-aging stuff though, and I think this was too heavily perfumed. Would I repurchase? No.
Delon 100% Pure Cotton Rounds – I’ve gone through so many packs of these from Costco and love them. They’re super soft and don’t leave any lint, and there’s one side that has a sort of mesh surface that gently exfoliates. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Energizing Bath and Shower Gel – Green Tea is one of my favourite perfumes, so I loved this body wash. It’s a such a great energizing scent in the morning. This gel did a good job of lathering up, and left me feeling squeaky clean. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Bask Heavenly Silk Daily Skin Nourishing Moisturizer Anti-Aging & Firming Lotion – I got this from a Beauty Box 5. I’d never heard of the brand before and think it’s meant for after tanning. It was nice enough to use and left my skin feeling hydrated and supple. The scent wasn’t my favourite though, it was a bit too strong for me. It smelled a bit like pear and mulled wine. Would I repurchase? No.
Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Body Lotion – This lotion quickly sank in and hydrated my skin, and I loved the citrusy green tea scent but I think there are other moisturizers that do an equally good job for a lower price. Would I repurchase? No.
KMS California Free Shape Quick Blow Dry – I didn’t find that this sped up my hair blow dry. I have really thick porous hair that just loves to retain water though, so maybe it would be better for someone with fine hair. Would I repurchase? No.
Peter Thomas Roth Mega Rich Shampoo and Conditioner – I loved these! They made my hair super soft and silky, and they smelled great. Would I repurchase? No.
White Tea Aloe Shampoo and Conditioner – These did nothing for my hair. Would I repurchase? No.
Pantene Expert Collection Age Defy Shampoo and Rejuvenating Hydration Mask – My hair felt really soft and silky after using these. Would I repurchase? Yes.
John Freida Touchably Full Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.
Bumble and bumble Thickening Shampoo – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Bumble and bumble Surf Foam Wash Shampoo and Cream Rinse Conditioner – I felt like together these left my hair and scalp feeling clean, which gave my roots extra lift. Plus smell great. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Agave Healing Oil Treatment – This stuff is so great! I used it, and my sister commented later that day that my hair “looked soft” that day. It smells super good and a little goes a long way for dry damaged hair. Would I repurchase? Yes.
November was back to regular student life for me. I had the worst case of senioritis this term. I’m so glad to be done school now!
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb – I know a lot of girls love this but it’s too overwhelmingly sweet for me. Very floral, sweet, and feminine. My boyfriend liked it though. Would I repurchase? No.
Billionaire Boyfriend – The scent itself was nice, although not enough to purchase, but the name is just awful. I imagine gold diggers everywhere dousing themselves in this like warpaint. Would I repurchase? No.
Prada Candy – This is such a fun perfume, that smells just like a warm, sweet candyshop. It’s a bit too sweet for me to wear everyday, but good for specific moods. Would I repurchase? No.
Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia – I love the scent of tuberose, and this perfume captures the scent beautifully. It’s super rich and luxe but a bit too overpowering for everyday use. Would I repurchase? No.
Juicy Couture Couture La La – This is a fruity floral musk that smells a bit cheap to me, like a blend from Bath and Body Works. Not a fan. Would I repurchase? No.
Dior Hydra Life BB Eye Cream – This product is genious! Serious game changer here. I’m too pressed for time most mornings to use concealer under my eye, but I always put on eye cream (gotta keep myself looking forever 21). This saves so much time and ensures there are no harsh lines because it’s not as pigmented as a normal concealer. Love love love this. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Benefit They’re Real Mascara – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes, HG status.
Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.
John Frieda Touchably Full Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.
HSI Professional Argan Oil – These little packets were only good for one use each but made my hair so touchably soft and shiny and smelled heavenly. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Love & Beauty Hydrating Makeup Removing Wipes – These did a good job of cutting through makeup and cleansing my face, and didn’t make me break out when I didn’t rinse afterwards. They’re super cheap from Forever 21 too! Would I repurchase? Yes.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – I was super sick and had dry cracked skin around my nose from blowing it so much, and thought this would hydrate and calm it down but it stung like a mother! On the rest of my face it was fine, but where I was in need of ultra repair this failed to deliver. Would I repurchase? No.
L’Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector – This smoothed and moisturized my skin making it feel velvety, but it was a little too heavily perfumed for my liking. The texture was really light and absorbed quickly though, and I believe I read that the active ingredient in this is the same as in Lancome’s Visionnaire serum, which is like 5x the price but it makes sense since Lancome is owned by L’Oreal. Would I repurchase? Maybe.
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.
Biotherm Blue Therapy Serum-in-Oil Night – I really liked this serum. It feels like a jelly and made my skin so silky after putting it on, and didn’t irritate my cracked dry skin. It feels super luxurious on, and my face was hydrated and soft in the morning. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Everyday Beauty Makeup Remover Pads – I got these in a Beauty Box 5 and really liked this product. I’d never heard of a dry makeup remover pad before, but once I used it I was hooked. It’s like a giant cotton square infused with argan oil to cleanse and moisturize, that’s activated when you put water on it. It feels so silky and pillowy soft, and I loved that I didn’t have to rinse or put on moisturizer after. The fact that they are dry in the packaging too is great because with wet remover wipes I always have to be so careful to seal the package so they don’t dry out. I really liked these and will be looking to buy them in the future. Would I repurchase? Yes.
My Scheming Camellia Japonica Hydrating Mask – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes.
L’Occitane Brightening Cleansing Foam – I got this in a GWP and really liked the foam. It smells fresh and lovely, and left my face feeling clean and soft after using it. I’m not sure how much it did to brighten though, and it wasn’t the best for taking off makeup since it was such a light foam. Would I repurchase? No.
L’Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream – This stuff is the best. HG hand cream for sure. Nothing compares to the thick luxe feeling of this cream that does wonders when my hands are super dry. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Western Family Bodyzone Nail Polish Remover – This stuff does the trick but is nothing special. Would I repurchase? No.
Bath and Body Works Night Blooming Jasmine Shower Gel – I love the smell of jasmine, but I find that BBW shower gels are really dry out my skin, although they do lather well. Would I repurchase? No.
CO Bigelow Shower Gel – The lavender scent of this shower gel as really calming and soothing, and it lathered well but I didn’t like how the texture was so runny – I felt like I needed to use a lot more than I would with other shower gels. Would I repurchase? No.
Elements Body Essentials Avocado and Hemp Body Lotion in Blackberry & Melon – YUM this lotion smells heavenly, like it’s bursting with fruit. My skin soaked this up quickly, and it left it feeling soft and supple without feeling greasy. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Jergens Ultra Care Body Lotion – I like that this lotion has such a light texture yet keeps my skin feeling moisturized all day. Would I repurchase? No.
December was awful! I only had three finals but I had an exam up until the very last day so I was a stressball for weeks.
Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin – How did I survive without UDPP until I found this? HG status for sure. Eyeshadow lasts all day without creasing, and Sin is such a gorgeous colour on its own. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream – I liked the smell of this going on, it’s got a really lovely fresh floral scent that’s very energizing in the morning. The BB cream itself gave light coverage and left me looking dewy, although a bit oily by tht end of the day. Would I repurchase? No.
Ojon Restorative Lash Treatment and Mascara Duo – I love how this came with lash treatment on one end, and mascara on the other. Most days I’m too lazy to use a lash primer, but having the two together made it so convenient to use. Together they did a great job lengthening and volumizing my lashes pretty dramatically with no flaking or smudging. This was probably one of the best mascaras I’ve ever used. Would I repurchase? Yes.
NYC Kohl Brow Liner Pencil in Sable – Nothing to complain about. This pencil was less than $2 and was decently pigmented and stayed put all day. My only gripe is that the pencil looked super long, but in actuality didn’t have “lead” (what do you call the coloured center part on these things?) in bottom 3 inches. I kept sharpening, thinking there had to be more. Nope. But it’s so cheap, I can get over it. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super Charged Foundation – This was such a dinky sample, all I could do was see if the colour matched. The texture feels really light and weightless, but I couldn’t tell you anymore than than as it was only enough to cover my chin. Would I repurchase? No.
L’Oreal Miracle Lift Blur – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.
21 Drops 01 Invigorate – This was a godsend during finals season. I used this all the time when I was getting tired or stressed out from studying. A dab on my wrists and on my temples and a few deep breaths honestly made me feel so much more invigorated and ready to tackle my notes again. Would I repurchase? Yes.
TokyoMilk Dark No. 62 – I thought I would really like this scent, but on me it smelled like sticky vanilla coke. Would I repurchase? No.
Neutrogena Pore Refining Cleanser – I got this a perk from Klout to review. I don’t have particularly big pores so I can’t comment on that aspect, but I felt like this cleanser left my face clean and refreshed feeling. The scent was way too strong for me though, it was really sweet and felt like it got into my nose and mouth when I used it. Would I repurchase? No.
Bath and Body Works Rainkissed Leaves Volumizing Shampoo – This smells great and lathers well, but I don’t think it did much to volumize my hair. Would I repurchase? No.
Kate Somerville Exfolikate – Where has this product been all my life?! I have KP and so I exfoliate my face religiously to keep it smooth with as few dry bumps as possible and this exfoliator did wonders to soften and smoothen my face. I’ve got a few more samples and then I think I’ll be buying a full size. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial – I was really sick for a while with awful dry skin and this did wonders to immediately soothe and hydrate when I put it on, and gave me the softest skin when I woke up. I don’t know if I like the smell or not, it really does smell like sweet yoghurt, which nice but a little stinky at the same time. My face normally leans towards the combination normal/oily type though, so I don’t think this is a necessity for me. Would I repurchase? No.
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel Creme – This worked really well when my face was dry and flaky in the winter. I really liked the light gel creme texture that felt super silky going on my skin. It immediately quenched my skin and felt cooling and soothing. Most of the time I don’t think my skin would need this much hydration however. Would I repurchase? No.
Shiseido Ibuki Moisturizer – This had a nice light milky texture and consistency, and it was nice to put on although was too heavily grandma perfumed for my liking. Not sure what the hype is about. It moisturized my skin but it didn’t feel like anything special. Would I repurchase? No.
Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Treatment Mask – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.
January was pretty busy for me because I was busy prepping for a case comp, and then spent 5 days in Regina for the competition, and then jetted off to Vegas immediately afterwards. I managed to use up a few full sized items though, which I’m pretty proud of!
Boscia BB Cream – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Julep Acetone Free Conditioning Nail Polish Remover – This was definitely a more luxe feeling nail polish remover than drugstore removers, and I like that it’s acetone free which is less damaging on my nails. It leaves my nails coated with some sort of oil that does feel quite hydrating, although I usually wash my hands pretty quickly after taking off nail polish so I can’t say if it does much. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Makeup Academy Mascara in Shade 1 (Clear) – Well, it used to be clear. I’ve been using this as a brow gel and for 1 pound (about $1.75) it was great. If you’re on a budget I’d really recommend it, it grooms brows and doesn’t leave them looking crunchy. I’m throwing it out though because it lacks hold and because it just looks gross now that my brow powder has slowly made it inside the tube. Plus the bottom bit of clear gel has turned yellow – definite sign it needs to go. Would I repurchase? No.
Hanae Mori – Yum, this was a warm fruity floral with a hint of woodsiness. I really liked this scent, although not enough to repurchase. Would I repurchase? No.
Fresh Sugar – This scent is divine. It’s a really fresh sugary lemony spritz of sunshine that has great staying power and is so energizing to smell when putting on initially and throughout the day. I will definitely be buying a bottle of this sometime in the near future. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Lancome DreamTone – I really liked the light gel creme texture of this, that left my skin feeling velvety soft. It wasn’t enough to see any differences, but it did feel very luxurious putting it on. Would I repurchase? No.
Korres Grek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.
Clinique Clarifying Lotion in Combinaion/Oily – I have such a love/hate relationship with this toner. On the one hand, it does a great job of removing last traces of makeup, keeping pimples at bay, and leaving my skin feeling refreshed, but on the other the smell is so overwhelmingly strong of alcohol that I want to gag half the time. It’s the worst on days I’m hungover. What’s a girl to do? Would I repurchase? Maybe.
Kiehls Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream – I can’t comment on the wrinkle reducing aspect as I have none, but the texture was light and silky and was fast absorbing, and didn’t irritate my eyes. Would I repurchase? No.
Sephora Soft Touch Cotton Pads – These were really great non-shedding cotton pads. I only bought this because there were some samples I really wanted to try out at the time on the Sephora website (I’m rouge so free shipping on all orders), but I ended up liking these more than I thought I would. They’re very soft and pillowy, but a little steeply priced for what they are. Would I repurchase? No.
Aveeno Smoothing Body Wash in Rice + Pomegranate – This was a great body scrub and wash in one. With my loofah I felt cleansed and at same time soft and moisturized after using. It’s not overly abrasive, and it smells lovely. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Aveda All Sensitive Moisturizer – This was a nice unscented moisturizer that sank in quickly, but nothing special. Would I repurchase? No.
AquaMer Institute Swiss Body Lotion – Awful. I felt dry quickly afterwards and it did nothing for my hands. Would I repurchase? No.
Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Olive Oil Shampoo – I loved using this shampoo, it smelled great and felt super luxe, and made my hair soft and shiny. Alas, it’s pretty dang expensive. Would I repurchase? Yes.
John Freida Precision Foam Hair Colour – This did nothing for my white hairs! I’ve been slowly getting a few more white hairs each year since I was a kid so I colour my hair every three or four months, but this did nothing for them even after leaving the dye on for a few extra minutes. It coloured the rest of my hair just fine, but my white hairs were barely tinted brown. My mom used a box too and said the same thing about her white hairs. I guess if you don’t have any greys to cover this is a great product for colouring (I really like the foam that doesn’t drip and is easy to control) but if you do, I wouldn’t look at this product twice. I’ve got another box that I don’t know what to do with now… Would I repurchase? No.
Phyto Express Conditioner – I liked this, it made my hair feel so silky and smooth afterwards but there are plenty of other conditioners that do the same at a lower price point. Would I repurchase? No.
Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Repair Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.
…Whew! If you got through all of that, mega props to you. Now that I’m done school I’m going to try to get back into blogging. I’m going to start travelling through Asia in a month or so, so look forward to hearing about my travel adventures! I also am really excited to share something that I’ve been working on for the last six months or so, and will be posting about that soon as well.
Thanks a ton for reading! Let me know if you’ve tried anything in my post and if your opinion was any different from mine!