February 28, 2014

Empties: February 2014

Despite being the shortest month out of the year, this February was full of life changes for me. As mentioned in my previous post, I am still in the middle of relocation, so today's empties post will try to be short and to the point.

Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo (311mL)
I have been using this shampoo with the conditioner from the same line for the past three months and as usual, the shampoo ran out before the conditioner. After each wash, this shampoo always makes my hair feel very light and soft with a fresh melon scent. My only problem is that the formula tends to dry out my scalp with extended use, but I may repurchase it in the future to use as a clarifying shampoo. The shampoo retails for $7-9 and is suitable for all hair types, including color treated hair.

Olay Active Hydrating Cream - Original (56mL)
This facial moisturizer is one of the classic products in my skincare routine. I have gone through dozens and dozens of these over the years and I will be repurchasing eventually. I would recommend this product to anyone who is looking for a basic moisturizing formula.

Olay Silk Whimsy Body Lotion (350mL)
While I absolutely adore the body wash from this rose-scented line [Read Here], the scent of this body lotion is a bit too strong for me. After applying it before bed, I would go out and return home the next day and there would still be a strong scent lingering on my pajamas. Aside from the overpowering scent, I do like the texture of this lotion and how quickly it absorbs into my skin. I have another bottle of this body lotion to get through, but after that, I am not repurchasing.

Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil (150mL)
I bought this cleansing oil last June [Haul Here], but I only started to use it regularly since November. At first, I used 3-4 pumps as indicated in the directions, but soon I realized that I only needed 1-2 pumps to remove every trace of makeup. I usually massage the oil around for a minute before wetting the face to emulsify the oil and rinsing off. The scent is a soft floral and the oil washes off without too much of a greasy residue. I don't find this cleansing oil to be any more brightening than other ones that I have tried and at £30 for 150mL, I would not repurchase even though it performs amazingly as a makeup remover. This cleansing oil claims to be suitable for all skin types, non-comedogenic, and ophthalmologically-, dermatologically-, and allergy-tested.

Which products did you finish this month?

February 22, 2014

NOTD: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Red Carpet

I have been making moving plans since January and this week marks the start of the actual moving process. Since mid-week, time and internet access have been scarce, but today I still want to share one of my favorite red glitter nail polishes: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Red Carpet.
The first coat applies to a pink-red color that turns darker with additional coats. The glitters are layered within the red jelly base, thus creating dimension to the finished look.

This manicure features 2 coats and there are some visible nail lines that would disappear with 3 coats.

The thin formula dries extremely quickly, wears well, and looks absolutely gorgeous. This color is very flattering and is really a classic.

If I only keep one red glitter nail polish, this would be that one polish that comes up on top. For under $3, Red Carpet is a great value and I highly recommend this color.

What is your favorite red glitter nail polish?

February 17, 2014

Review: Nuxe Gentle Exfoliating Gel

My encounter with the Nuxe with Rose Petals range started with the Micellar Cleansing Water [Review Here]. While the scent was divine, that product itself did not perform to my expectations. However, I was so taken by the lovely scent that I became eager to try out other products in the range, thus leading to my purchase of this Nuxe Gentle Exfoliating Gel. I have been using this exfoliant on a weekly basis since early November and today I want to share my thoughts.

Since my first use, I could not shake the disappointment that the dried petals are not rounded. Personally, when I use physical exfoliants, I want every microbead to be perfectly smooth. Otherwise, I worry about tearing my skin with the uneven pieces if I apply even a little bit of pressure when I massage the gel around my face.

To be fair, my fears of bad reactions to this exfoliating gel have not yet realized. I am careful to only gently pat the gel around my face to minimize the risk. The little pieces become less abrasive when mixed in with the amber gel and my skin feels softer and brighter after each use. While the brightening effect does not last overnight, I could count on the smoothing effect on my face for a couple of days.

When used very carefully, this exfoliating gel is gentle to its name and delivers great results. It leaves my skin feeling so clean without drying it out. I will use up the rest of this 75mL tube that retails for $26/€16.70, but the unevenness of the petals would prevent me from repurchasing this exfoliating gel.

Do you prefer rounded physical exfoliants like I do?

Update (Aug 31, 2014): Updated impression in my August Empties.

February 14, 2014

DIY: Friendship Bracelets

Happy Valentine's Day! Although I haven't worn a friendship bracelet myself in over 15 years, I occasionally make them to keep my hands busy while watching TV. Today I want to share the 10 bracelets that resulted from watching too much Olympic action.

Have you ever made/worn a friendship bracelet?

February 10, 2014

Review: REN Rosa Centifolia Foaming Cleanser

I have been using this REN Rosa Centifolia Foaming Cleanser almost every day for the past 4 months. I am about 2/3 through the bottle and today I want to share my thoughts on this gentle cleanser.

I always remove my make-up with cleansing oil or make-up remover, but there are definitely days when I am not the most diligent at that task. Despite this cleanser's make-up removing claims, it does not clear my skin of the residual make-up. Thus, I prefer to follow with 1-2 pumps of the cleanser after a round of make-up remover or cleansing water. The above photo features 1 full pump.

While initially I thought this cleanser left my skin dry [Read Here], prolonged use over the past 4 months proved otherwise. The rose scent is subtle and does not linger on the skin. I appreciate having this cleanser around the most when I am in a hurry because it is quick to use. Result-wise, it isn't outstanding for me, but this cleanser may be a good choice for individuals with no particular skin concerns.

This detergent-free cleanser is suitable for all skin types and contains no parabens, no sulphates, no mineral oil, no petrolatum, no synthetic colors/fragrance, no silicone, and etc.

This 150mL retails for £13/$22 and should last around 6 months for me. I don't plan on repurchasing anytime soon since I am already bored with this cleanser with 2 more months of uses left.

Update (May 31, 2014): Updated impression in my May Empties.

What is your favorite foaming cleanser?

February 6, 2014

NOTD: Zoya Julie

This is my first Zoya nail polish and I bought it for one namesake reason: Julie for Julie of course. Today I want to share my thoughts on this nail polish from the Zoya Lovely collection for Spring 2013.
I probably would have bought Julie even if it was a shade that I would never wear. Luckily, I love all shades of purple!

This really takes me back to a psychology course once-upon-a-time about the name-letter effect where people gravitate toward things that share letters from their names. Something about implicit egotism...

Anyways, Julie is a pale lavender with silver micoglitter. With the more coats that I add, the stronger are the cool blue tones in the color payoff. The above manicure features 2 coats and there are slightly visible nail lines under certain lightings. I have previously worn this nail polish with 3 coats and I find Julie to be more flattering on me with fewer coats.

The formula applies smoothly and dries to a semi-metallic finish with average dry time and wear time. This Zoya Julie nail polish retails for $9.

Would you buy a product with your name?

February 3, 2014

Review: Lush King of Skin Body Butter

It's been so cold lately that I could not be bothered to apply lotion after drying off. This in-shower body conditioner is the perfect solution to keep me moisturized and warm. Today I want to share my thoughts on the Lush King of Skin Body Butter.

This solid bar is sufficiently stiff to massage pressure points and relieve stress. The crown-like layer wore away after 3 uses and the entire bar lasted through a dozen uses.

The scent is a soft blend of lavender and oatmeal. The cocoa butter keeps my skin soft. I think I may prefer this solid bar to the liquid Ro's Argan Body Conditioner [Review Here] simply because I feel like I contaminate the tub with water every time I use Ro's Argan.

This body butter retails for £5.50/$13.95. I like the convenience, the user experience, and the result. Given the expansive price tag, I would only repurchase once in a while.

What is your favorite in-shower moisturizer?