Empties Pt. II


Lush Flying Fox Shower Gel
This product was given to me during a trip to Lush, good surprise! Even though I still use them from time to time, I feel like conventional shower gels don't rinse well/fast enough. I also suspect them of leaving a residue, faking nourished skin without hydrating it for realz -- yes, I'm a 90s baby :). As a result, I turned to soap as a faster, healthier alternative and leave the gels for occasional use. This one is a nice one. It's pretty liquid-y, lathers well, and smells like jasmin. My skin is pretty soft after using this. Price-wise, I wouldn't say it's that pricey considering the ingredients are pretty clean -- it's $9.99 for 100 ml (3.3 fl oz). It's a pretty good product which I'd purchase.

Lush Olive Branch Shower Gel
This is the shower gel that I fell in love with! I was looking for one that would leave my skin moisturized and not irritated. I love that it has olive oil as one of the main ingredients. Also, it is collected through a Israeli-Palestinian fair trade project, which is a plus for me. It did leave my skin moisturized, a tad bit irritated though. The most amazing, surprising thing for me was the smell. It smells like the finest oud out there, which I wouldn't have thought of mandarin + bergamot. I'm not that big on perfumes, but it's a shame this doesn't linger. €7,45 ($9.99) isn't too big of a price to indulge in perfumey goodness :).

Melvita Almond Oil
I love my olive oil, but I wanted a change. Almond oil seemed to serve as a good, all-purpose remplacement. I picked this one from the French brand Melvita because it's organic and based on local products, which my skin seems to like :) I can safely say my skin likes this one too! It makes my skin soft and supple. A good way to be introduced to almond oil!

Melvita Argan Oil
Disclaimer: this might not be fair, because I had high expectations. To be honest, I didn't pay much attention to the argan hype, until my mother brought me some from Morocco. Raw, unrefined, straight from the grinder. Can you spell life-changing? But since all good things come to an end, my bottle was gone :( Since then, I thought of finding a good one here in France. I found that it's a bit too thick and is not as fine as my beloved. Great to get acquianted with argan oil, but not my holy grail.

Nutiva Coconut Oil
I've tried coconut oil before, but it wasn't that convincing. My sister suggested that I pick a better one from a better brand. So I decided to go the organic route with this one. Let me tell you, I'm so glad I listened! I think this is the best quality/oil I've ever tried. As soon as I opened the box, I was overwhelmed by the coconut scent! The creamy texture is nice and convenient: as a body moisturizer, it glides on the skin without dripping all over the place! I also found that it's perfect as a lightweight face moisturizer, UV protection, scalp, hair and cuticle oil. I'll never stop buying this :)

Topicrem Body Lotion
I took advantadge of the 20th anniversary discount, and got 1 liter (around 3 fl oz.) for a great price. It's a widespread, affordable, fast-absorbing, moisturizing body lotion, can be upped with a drop of oil for a boost of moisture. No complaints about this, but I wanted to try something else.

L'Oreal Everpure Shampoo*
I tried this because I've heard positive comments on it saying it doesn't dry hair out, which is my pet peeve with 99.9% of the shampoos I've tried in the past. I have to say that it was good to my hair. It cleansed my scalp really well and left my hair soft, and lightly perfurmed. I could actually feel it "breathe". Very nice shampoo overall.

Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Conditioner
I wanted to try this out because I've heard good things about the HE conditioners. Since shampoo usually gives me a hard time, I've resorted to conditioners, that are cleansing and hydrating. This one my friend got from the UK for me. This leaves my hair super soft and smelling really nice, but I feel like its washing power isn't as great as other conditioners. Another downside is the availability: this product is hard to get from France! Few shops carry them, and getting it online would mean pay triple the price, which totally defeats the purpose of using a cheap condish! Nice product, but I think I'll stick to my French cheapie condishes.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Potion
I don't have oily/combination skin, it's acting pretty "normal", but I do have texture on some areas of my face, mainly the forehead, the sides of my nose and the chin area. When it comes to everyday makeup, I'm not into flawless, porcelain skin, but I like the appearance of smoother skin. I've tried the Clarins Smoothing primer, but it didn't do much for me. I thought of this raved-about primer, but it didn't work out either. It keeps the makeup put, but after a while, the texture would be back.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in New Orleans
I wanted to give this foundation a try because it was raved about. I was intimidated by liquid foundations -- this is actually the second liquid foundation I've ever used. After lots of research, I bought the lad. You could say that this is my first (foundation) love. It goes on smoothly, gives my skin that dewy glow, just beautiful! I've had so many compliments on my skin with this on -- some people actually thought I was bare-skinned! It's €30 ($35), which isn't the worst for a high end foundation, especially since it lasted a while. The only downside is that when rubbed on clothes or fabric, it stains pretty bad, compared to other foundations I've tried, so my turtkenecks and this aren't the best of friends. Other than that, it's an awesome foundation for normal/dry skin!

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliner in Perversion*
There's something (else) about me: I have big, watery eyes. Products on my lower lash line hardly stay put, which is a shame, since I dig the kohl/kajal look. So I've heard so much about this one that you know I had to try it. I was initially torn bewteen this one and the MUFE waterproof liner, but the Sephora sales assistant was an Urban Decay enthusisast, I guess. :p Unfortunately, it acted like all the other liners: it smudged, smeared and disappeared. I thought I'd still use it for my upper lash line and for tight-lining. But this pencil would not be sharpened. I thought "maybe it's retractable or something". It's not. So every time I tried to line my eyes, the whole thing turned into a torture session. To top it all off, I picked it out after not having used it for a while, and the thing dried up like raisin! The pencil is NOT it, needless to say, I won't repurchase this.

Lush Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser
I went to Lush with my cousin, wasn't planning on getting anything, as it sometimes happens. :) A holy grail face cleanser is hard to come by, with my skin is so picky. And the sales assistant suggested this one. It consists of a dry paste made out of corn, polenta, cinnamon, which are natural, gentle cleansing agents. All you have to do is scoop out some, add water to turn it into a paste, apply to your face and rinse. Now, my skin doesn't like to be messed with too much, and the granules made it slightly too abrasive for daily use. Instead, I'd use it as a weekly/bi-weekly face wash/scrub. It left my skin clean, soft and really smooth. I've been told to be mindful of the expiration date, since it doesn't contain preservatives, but I've used it for 4/5 months without any problem. I think given the small size and the price, it's more indicated for weekly use.

Bioderma Créaline Micellar Solution
This one I used after my sister recommended it to me. At that moment, I wanted to find something that would leave my skin makeup-free and not irritated. This is spectacular! It removes everything, without agitating my skin whatsoever. It's pretty conveninent as well, since you don't have to use water like some makeup removers do. This I brought with me during my trip in Spain. It's easily available here, a 1L bottle retails for 10, that's an awesome bargain. Now, I'd splash my face with water just to get rid of the residue, since I soak my cotton pads with the product, tone, moisturize, and voilà!

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
I heard all the hype abour cleansing oils + my sister recommended it to me, of course, so I tried it out. It's from a Japanese brand that features olive oil as its main ingredient in a special line. You put a few pumps, rub it on your dry face, and as you rinse out, the oil turns into a milky consistency. I was pretty new to cleansing oil, so it was a bit surprising. Let me tell you, my face was so clean, no trace of makeup, and super soft. Nothing resists this, not even the caked-up makeup looks. I just followed up with my regular night routine. It combines oil and water, which are things I love using on my face. Now, there's a problem: 27 ml for 25, it doesn't come cheap. I think about rotating between this and the Bioderma lotion. Other than that, awesome product, would gladly repurchase!

Mavala Cuticle Remover
Growing up, I used to be a nail enthusiast. I would make sure my nails are fly and on point! Nowadays, I'm not such a fanatic, but I still like to have presentable hands. This product followed me all the while. A good minute on my cuticles, gently push back, and that's it! I find that using it on wet hands and feet optimizes its power. You can leave your hands as they are, or follow up with polish if you like. It easy to find, lasts me a long time, perfect!

Carmex Lipbalm
I've heard of Carmex high and low, and I found it on a French website, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I like it, it's moisturizing, doesn't color or leave residue on the lips, and leaves a slight tingly feeling. The thing I didn't like is that it came in a small jar, and I don't like to put my fingers in there, since I use lipbalms while I'm outside, I'm not sure about my hands being clean 100% of the time. So, if I could find a tube version of this, I'd be more than happy :)

Labello Lip Butter
This was all the rage, and I like using lipbalms, so there you go, another product to review :) The consistency is interesting, since it's not "oily" as the other lipbalms I've tried, but it feels like a body butter would feel on the lips, I guess. I picked the rose-rapsberry one. I'd say it caters to lips nicely, I just find the texture a bit unusual on the lips. Plus, I have a tendency to slather it on, and this is when the dreaded white cast happens. :( This and the finger-digging thing made me keep this for home use only.

Sephora Moisturizing & Soothing Lotus Mask
I was walking around at Sephora and I came across htis -- I'm still floored at how the brand has improved, man, they had a long way to go, but mashaAllah, they catched up with the other brands! It promised to moisturize, soothe, and relax the skin, which I needed at the time. The mask seemed like a fun one, and I've never tried one like these, so I picked it up. It's basically cut out tissue soaked in product that you leave for 15 mn. Good surprise: the next day, my skin was soft, smooth, and really glowy. It had lots of goodies that infuse into th skin, making it plump and juicy. It's a good product, but it's a bit pricey for what it is. Still, it's a good product, which I could get with a discount.

Sephora Perfecting & Brightening Pearl Mask
Since I loved its counterpart so much, I wanted to give this one a try. It didn't work as well as the other one, and given the price, it wouldn't be worth it.

*Products I'm not buying anymore. More info here.

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