This month's batch of empties is oddly free of any body care, but I've got a good bit of skincare, some makeup, and one hair product. Keep reading for mini reviews and my thoughts on whether these items are worth buying again or not.
Kinky-Curly Spiral Spritz
The Spiral Spritz is a basically a cross between a gel and a serum. With lavender water and aloe vera as the main ingredients, it gives the hair oil-free moisture and also serves as a lightweight soft-hold gel, courtesy of the remaining ingredients. It's a repeat empty for me, so you know I love it!
Repurchase? Definitely. I'm currently using the Intelligent Nutrients Styling Gel, but I'm sure I'll buy this again in the future.
Blûm Naturals Pro Age Daily Cleansing and Makeup Remover Towelettes
I don't use wipes for daily cleansing or makeup removal, but I like keeping a couple individually wrapped ones in my purse for spur of the moment makeup fails or other unexpected situations. The Blûm ones aren't my favorite wipes, but there aren't a lot of companies that offer individually wrapped ones with clean ingredients and Blûm's are cheap and do the trick. I only use them occasionally - a box of ten lasts me six months or so - so I'm not overly fussy about which ones I buy.
Repurchase? Yes. I bought Blûm's Sensitive wipes to try next, but I'm sure I'll buy these Pro Age ones again too.
Andalou Naturals Citrus Kombucha Cleansing Gel
I've tried a lot of Andalou Naturals products this year and I really think they're one of the best affordable skincare lines out there. I've dabbled in all four different ranges now and to me, most products seem quite mild and not super "active," which is kind of a double-edged sword. I'm not convinced they're potent enough to achieve great, transformative skin results, but the upside is that the majority of products are gentle and generally work for virtually any skin type. The Citrus Kombucha Cleansing Gel, for instance, is part of the Clarifying Line, intended for active, oily, and acne-prone skin, but it worked great on my sensitive normal-to-dry skin too. The cleanser has great ingredients, smells awesome - like a fresh-cut grapefruit - and lathers without overly drying the skin.
Evolve Gentle Cleansing Melt [Review]
The Gentle Cleansing Melt is a unique emulsifying balm cleanser. It starts out as a thick gel, but quickly melts into a thinner balm consistency with the heat of your skin. Once you add water, it transforms into a milky cleanser that easily rinses away. Evolve has reformulated this product since I bought it, so I can't speak to the current version, but the one I used was great. I haven't used anything quite like it before, but I'm curious what else is out there. If there are similar emulsifying balm-type cleansers that you'd recommend, please leave a comment and let me know!
Repurchase? This version is no longer sold. I'm not sure if I'll try the new one or not.
Andalou Naturals Super Goji Perfecting Cream
My skin has been preferring cream moisturizers over oils recently and the Super Goji Perfecting Cream is a nice one. It's sold as part of the Age Defy line and is intended for dry and very dry skin, but I'm not sure I'd agree with that recommendation. The cream is hydrating but also pretty lightweight, so I don't know if it would be sufficient for super dry skin. Either way, I really enjoyed it. It sinks in quickly and never leaves skin feeling tacky or greasy. Noteworthy ingredients include hyaluronic acid, goji glycopeptides and antioxidants that claim to "deliver collagen and elastin building actives deep into dermal layers, boosting cellular renewal and dramatically transforming tone and texture for younger-looking skin with fewer fine lines and wrinkles." At 27, I'm no prune face just yet, but I also haven't noticed any difference in the fine lines I do have while using the cream. It's a great basic moisturizer, but I don't suggest buying it with the highest hopes for wrinkle or fine line reduction.
Repurchase? It's very likely.
Badger Seabuckthorn Face Oil* [Review]
Like I said, I've temporarily moved away from using most face oils recently, but I did really enjoy the Badger Seabuckthorn Oil while I was using it. Badger is a great company and the face oils are packed full of great nourishing plant oils and extracts. The Seabuckthorn, specifically, contains sea buckthorn oil and fruit extract, as well as jojoba, baobab, apricot, and pomegranate oils, rosehip fruit extract, and lavender, geranium, and sweet orange essential oils. Badger currently sells four different oils to suit various skin types, and for the price - under $20! - I really don't think you can do any better than these USDA certified organic blends!
Repurchase? Not right away, but possibly in the future.
Madara Deep Moisture Fluid (sample)
The Deep Moisture Fluid is an interesting product. As the name suggests, it has a very fluid, liquidy consistency, but it also does provide a lot of moisture. I actually found it to sit a little heavy on the skin this time of year. The scent was pretty grassy - like every other Madara product I've tried - but not offensive.
Repurchase? Probably not.
Trilogy Very Gentle Calming Serum (sample)
This is the first Trilogy product I haven't liked at all. Both the Cleanser and Moisturizer from the same Calming range are great, but the Serum doesn't absorb well and stays very sticky and tacky on the skin. It did initially tone down redness on application, but I think it also made me break out. Not a fan!
Ilike Carotene Essentials Moisturizer* (sample)
Ilike's Carotene Essentials range is specifically targeted at summer skin and I really enjoyed using the moisturizer over the last couple weeks. It has the same scent as the Carotene Essentials Gel Mask (reviewed here), but while I sometimes find the smell of the mask a little too sweet and even sickly, it didn't bother me in the moisturizer at all, perhaps because it's absorbed more quickly into the skin and doesn't just sit on top for a prolonged period. The cream itself was really lovely too: hydrating, lightweight and perfect for summer.
Repurchase? Maybe. I'm not sure it gives enough moisture for my skin in the winter, but I'd consider buying it next summer.
Honeybee Gardens Belgian Chocolate JobaColor Eye Liner
Honeybee Gardens liners are some of my favorites - both for their affordable price point and great performance - but it looks like the company has made some major ingredient changes since I last purchased them. The biggest difference is that the old formula contained lanolin, while the new one looks to be vegan. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't like some of the other ingredients that have been added - butylene glycol, for one! - so I won't be buying these any more.
Repurchase? No. I'll probably replace this with Pacifica's brown liner instead.
Sassy Minerals Rumor Mill and Pixie Sprinkles Eye Shadows (samples)
Sassy Minerals used to be one of the best companies for shimmery and sparkly eye shadows, but they were bought out by LaurEss Mineral Cosmetics a few years ago. LaurEss carried the same colors, but it looks like they're shutting down as of this summer too. I initially pulled these samples out just to use them up, but I actually ended up loving both colors and even though I don't need eye shadow, I'm considering ordering one or both from LaurEss before they fully shut down.
Gabriel Color Black Mascara
The Zuzu Luxe mascara is in my top two mascaras, so I'm always baffled by why the Gabriel Color one, which has the same ingredients and a very similar wand, just doesn't do it for me. It's an okay mascara, but nothing amazing.
Repurchase? I don't think so.
Pollen Cosmetics Ready Set Go Finishing Powder (sample)
Pollen Cosmetics is another indie makeup company that's no longer in business. The finishing powder was okay, but nothing spectacular.
Repurchase? Not possible.
Everyday Minerals Ivory (1N) Semi Matte and Matte Base (samples)
Everyday Minerals is the latest company I've been testing in my attempts to pick a new mineral foundation. Ivory (1N) seems like a good color match for my skin and both the Semi Matte and Matte formulas are nice, depending how you like your skin to look. The Semi Matte has a slightly more natural finish, which I prefer, but the coverage on both is great.
Repurchase? Probably the Semi Matte. I still have a sample of the Jojoba Base to try before I decide.
Crazy Rumors Pear & Peppermint Lip Balm
Crazy Rumors has become one of my favorite lip balm companies, but I didn't love this particular one. It smelled more like a semi-artificial honey scent than either pear or peppermint to me.
Repurchase? Yes, but not this particular flavor.
Total Products Used Up in August
Skincare: 6 (Lip Balms: 1)
Skin/Body/Hair Samples: 3
Makeup Samples: 5
Total Products Used Up in 2015
Skincare: 29 (Lip Balms: 8)
Skin/Body/Hair Samples: 59
Makeup Samples: 24
I can't believe I'm edging towards 100 samples used up this year! Crazy!
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