Saturday, May 11, 2013

April 2013 Empties & Reviews

I know I made a nice and tidy list of what content I was going to post. I still don't have Photoshop and I have even less time than I that stuff clearly isn't happening. I'm scrounging up content based on what I've got in front of me right now and what I have in my Instant Uploads from my mobile device. The camera is (along with the SD card all my pictures are on...) on loan to a friend for a few days - I'll get it back either Saturday or Monday! If my friend is a bit less busy, she might be able to send over the set of pictures for the posts I wanted to put up this week but either way, I want to wait until I have Photoshop again because I do like watermarking my camera photos and sticking to the formatting and design for the detailed swatch & review posts I put up!

April was an amazing month of "empties" for me. Starting Project No Buy meant taking charge of what I owned and separating out the too-old-to-use from the almost-empty from the never-going-to-use-this-again to the holy-shit-these-are-amazing products in my stash. I realized I had a lot of products that were almost done, and keeping around the containers was wasting a lot of valuable space and making everything look less organized than it could be.

The products I have stronger opinions on, I will review more thoroughly.

I promise, subsequent empties posts will not have this much rambling and will get right to it! In the order they appeared and without any further ado, here are the empties:

Murad Clarifying Lotion ($35 for 1.7oz)
Repurchase? No

I purchased the Murad Clarifying Lotion because it came in the Murad Acne Complex Kit ($60). From the 4 products I received, I am happiest with the Exfoliating Acne Treatment and Spot Treatmen, and the Exfoliating Treatment is the reason that I purchased this kit to begin with! (It retails full-size for $54 alone). My main problem with the Clarifying Lotion and the reason I will not be repurchasing it is that it does not live up to most (if any?) of its claims. Murad claims that the lotion will deliver oil-free hydration, minimize pores, refine texture, and soothe redness and irritation. What I found was that my pores remained unchanged (They were no bigger, but definitely no smaller), and my face looked pretty oily halfway through the day if I didn't mattify it using some sort of primer or finishing powder. If my skin's texture was refined, it was thanks to the other products, not this lotion. It is good for hydrating your face and making sure your skin doesn't get dry. It's not heavy-duty enough for winter (I was still getting patchy skin sometimes!) and nothing too spectacular. I can't complain about the quantity, but the problem is that the quality of the product doesn't live up to its price. 

• A little goes a long way
• Fragrance free 
• Hydrating enough to sustain healthy skin, but does not actually improve the condition of your skin to the point where your dry patches will go away and stay away. Does that make sense? 

• Does not live up to most of its claims
• Not enough to justify price (ie. Clinique moisturizer is 4.2oz for $25 and Philosophy's 2.0oz is $34)
• Not chemical-free
• Not a big fan of the packaging (I cut open the tube at the end to use up the last bit of product)

Murad Clarifying Cleanser ($26 for 6.75oz, $35 for 12oz)
Repurchase? Maybe

This also came in the Murad Acne Complex Kit ($60). This cleanser worked very well! It contains 1.5% Salicylic Acid and definitely helps to clear blemishes. You get a tingly feeling and washing your face with it is just very pleasant! I also enjoyed the fact that there was no overwhelming fragrance. It is a gel-like consistency and I used about a dime-sized amount per facewash, morning and night. This will not remove makeup very well so I always had to go in first with a makeup remover wipe or use makeup remover and a cotton pad to remove makeup first. 

It did leave my skin feeling dry until I put on some sort of moisturizer, but the results of how clear my face is now compared to when I first starting using the treatment testifies to its power. It is paraben and sulfate free, and my skin has responded to it very well.

The only reason I am unsure of repurchasing is because a) I have other cleansers that I want to finish/test that are more natural than this one and b) Using this in conjunction with the acne treatment gel and spot treatment at times was a bit too drying for my skin. 

• Has worked very well in conjunction with acne treatment gel in clearing up my face
• My complexion has evened out as the blemishes clear thanks to the exfoliation I am getting
• Really freshens up your entire face and makes you feel very clean
 Does not irritate skin. I once got some too close to the eye...not even a problem!

• In combination with other Murad treatments, too drying for skin (The lotion's not heavy duty enough)
• Not effective at removing makeup. Does smear it around spectacularly though

St. Ives Apricot Scrub [Use on my body & feet, not my face!]
Repurchase? No

Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel, $18
Repurchase? Yes...if price is reduced

Wow, at first I was going to just RAVE on and on about this product. Use it very lightly and even though it was clear, I had several friends ask me if I had gotten my eyebrows done that day or what. I received this in an Ipsy bag and was ecstatic once I began using it! 

It was a nice and easy way to groom lashes into place and it even made the more sparse areas toward the end look nice and evenly tapered off. Once dry, it did make your lashes feel a bit stiffer but I don't think that matters as much as stiff hair would LOL. 

Unfortunately, purchasing a replacement would set me back $18 for the product and $10 for UPS Ground Shipping from chella's website and at that point, a clear brow gel just isn't worth it. I haven't searched the market, but I'm sure there are cheaper options.

CVS Rigid Gas Permeable Conditioning Solution
Repurchase? Yes

This is a necessity when you wear Rigid Gas Permeable lenses! It cushions the 'blow' when you insert your lens. This is actually one of only two brands I've found that even make conditioning solution. This one is cheaper (Much cheaper) than the Bausch & Lomb (Fancy brand) one, but it is also thinner. I was using B&L first and hated this one, but once I was using this and comparing it to B&L after some experience, I realized that this one was better. The B&L is so thick I would need to dilute it with some saline or else my lenses would go into my eye and then slide right off the pupil off to the side because the eye was too well lubricated. Fishing for contact lenses when you can't see = not fun. Yes, it is as painful as it sounds.

Nailtiques Formula 2 Nail Protein Basecoat
Repurchase? Maybe

What I liked about this was the fact that it acted as a "peel-off" basecoat before that was popular. I used to wonder why polish was chipping off in giant chunks (Sometimes an entire nail of polish would lift like a decal) and finally realized that this basecoat was causing that. What I didn't like is that it didn't actually do much to strengthen my nails. From when I started to when I finished the bottle, my nails are pretty much the same. If anything, they are shorter now because I can't grow them out long without them breaking or peeling. Still.

Murad Spot Treatment
Repurchase? No

The Acne Treatment Gel does a better job of combatting acne than this. However, if I put it on a blemish religiously every night, it does seem to die down after a week. The thing is...that is what would probably happen normally even without this product because of the rest of the acne complex kit. I guess I feel like it could just perform faster? ALSO it does dry out the area like a mf'er.

Clear Care RGP Lens Cleaning Solution
Repurchase? Yes

It's just an everyday essential. This is the only cleaning solution I use for my lenses. There are always bottles of it on hand in both bathrooms :)

Dove Deodorant - Never repurchasing, it was bad, I actually threw it out
Repurchase? No

Stil stank like a skunk approximately 1 hour after use in a not-so-hot summer day. It was just chilling unused so I just trashed it when cleaning. So bad. 

Shaveworks, The Cool Fix, Full-sized - HG status for preventing ingrowns
Repurchase? Yes

This has become an everyday essential item for me. I apply it on my legs after I shave and it has drastically reduced how many ingrown hair I get in my upper inner thigh area. TMI? But really, I'll give this its own review because it needs one. 

Alba Botanica 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes - Favorite makeup removing wipes ever
Repurchase? Yes

This is a "holy-grail" makeup remover item for me. usually has great deals or coupons going and that's when I purchase them. The entire Alba line was 30% off last week so my friend purchased them in bulk for us! 

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