September 2015 Empties

I can’t believe we’re already more than a week into October! You’ll have to forgive me for being a bit behind with reviewing last month’s empties – between a road trip to visit some good friends in their new home, several nights out to celebrate various happy occasions with friends, and a jam-packed work schedule, I’ve had a very busy couple of weeks! Luckily, the long hours and short weekends have not kept me from testing and finishing up a whole bunch of things. Let’s take a look at September’s empties:
September 2015 empties
Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Refreshingly Clean Cleansing Cloths: These gentle daily cleansing cloths are formulated to remove makeup and oil without over-drying or irritating sensitive skin. They combine the natural toning properties of witch hazel with soothing aloe, a blend the package says gives the cloths their “signature botanical scent.” Here is what I have to say about these face wipes: they are very effective at removing makeup and oil, and when I used them they kept my skin quite clear and even. However, I found that signature scent to be almost stomach-turning. The scent was so strong and so unpleasant that it took me months to finish up this pack of 25 cleansing cloths. I would not recommend them to anyone who is the least bit sensitive to strong smells.

Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strips: As with Boscia’s classic black mask (and pretty much every other Boscia product I’ve tested), I was very excited to give this pore strip a try. As a person whose past experiences with drugstore pore strips have been quite painful and ineffective, I was cautiously optimistic that this one would work for me. Happily, it did! I decided to test this strip one afternoon after noticing that my pores looked unusually large and grimy. Not only did this strip remove the grime and make my pores instantly less prominent, I was actually able to peel the strip from my face without crying or taking any skin with it. This is definitely the Cadillac of pore strips.

Malin + Goetz Geranium Body Wash: I’ve sampled a couple of Malin + Goetz products over the years, and I’ve really liked all of them. This body wash was no different. Though I don’t typically love floral scents, this one was mild and left a pleasant fragrance on my skin that lasted through most of the day. It also made my skin insanely soft, even without lotion. I think this would make a great gift.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB: I’ve written about this so many times, there’s not much left to say! I finally used up my summer BB cream, and not a moment too soon; my tan has definitely abandoned me, making this beauty balm just a touch too dark for my complexion. Other than that, it’s an all-around great BB cream that provides moisture and nice light coverage for a super reasonable price.

Colgate MaxFresh with Whitening Flouride Toothpaste: A pretty basic toothpaste. I can’t say I noticed a difference in whiteness, but it did a great job of keeping my mouth feeling fresh.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple: This facial cleanser is an old favorite for good reason – it’s gentle, effective, and even smells pure and simple. I often turn to it when another product has caused irritation or the changing seasons has turned my skin into a red blotchy mess. It’s always a safe bet.

Benefit They’re Real! Remover: This waterproof eye makeup remover has a unique creamy gel formula that is designed to prevent pulling or tugging of the delicate skin around the eyes. I have to confess, I was completely caught off guard by the odd texture. It was goopy and unpleasant, and I got a ton of it in my eyes. This makeup remover is formulated to be safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, and I’ll admit that my highly sensitive eyes did not sting or burn after using it. Still, it felt gross. And with all the wonderfully effective eye makeup removers out there (like this one from MAKE), I don’t see a reason to use one that feels this bad.

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo: I wrote about this a little while back after receiving it in a Birchbox. It’s a nice, fresh-smelling dry shampoo that’s great for giving second day hair a little oomph. That oomph doesn’t last very long, but it’s really clean and natural looking while it lasts. A great product to throw in your purse for on-the-go touchups.

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July 2015 Empties

July was filled with lots of fresh-smelling summer beauty products. I used up a lot of drugstore staples and found a couple of new favorites. Here’s what I finished last month:
July 2015 Empties
Not Your Mother’s Deja Vu ‘Do Style Extender: Thanks to Influenster, I received this little tube in a VoxBox. I already wrote about it here, but to recap: it smells magnificent and adds nice, lightweight volume, but I can’t say that it extended my style any.

Dove Go Fresh Cool Moisture Beauty Bar with Cucumber and Green Tea Scent: Believe it or not, I am still using up bars of soap that were in my stash when I started my beauty ban back in January 2014. This is one of them. It’s a decent cleanser, featuring the classic Dove hydrating lotion, and the cucumber/green tea scent feels fresh on a hot summer day.

Colgate MaxClean SmartFoam Toothpaste: I really like the way this toothpaste foams up and leaves my mouth feeling extra clean. It claims to be a whitening toothpaste, but I wish it was more effective in that regard. Although, to be fair, I do drink a lot of coffee.

Suave Naturals Juicy Green Apple Shampoo: I can’t say enough good things about this shampoo, which cost me 97 cents. It smells amazingly good – a lot like old school Herbal Essences shampoo – and it left my hair and scalp clean and moisturized. I will definitely buy this again. A summer favorite for sure.

Rite Aid Renewal Aloe Vera Body Lotion: I purchased this after I got way too much sun early in the summer. As far as aloe is concerned, I don’t think it has much, because it didn’t do much to soothe my burned skin. As a daily body lotion, however, it’s a great summer pick. It’s lightly moisturizing, non-greasy, and has a mild, clean scent.

Dove Go Fresh Cool Essentials Cucumber & Green Tea Scent Anti-Perspirant Deodorant: Apparently I was drawn to cucumber and green tea last month! Again, it has a fresh, clean scent that really works this time of year. However, I wasn’t wowed by it as an anti-perspirant. I didn’t feel like it really lasted all day, particularly on warmer or more active days. I don’t know that I’d repurchase this.

Supergoop Everyday Face & Body Lotion and Everyday Sunscreen: I received the tube of SPF 50 sunscreen in a Birchbox and fell in love with it, which prompted me to dig out the packet of SPF 30 lotion for a subsequent beach day. They are both fabulous. This sunscreen is very effective and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy on the skin. It lasts through hours of sweating and swimming, and didn’t make me break out. It’s pricey, but totally worth it.

April 2015 Empties

Things have been very busy and exciting here at For the Love of Gloss with lots of new products to test – stay tuned for reviews and recommendations in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, lots of new stuff means I didn’t use up much of the old. Here’s what I did finish off this month:
April 2015 Empties
Listerine Healthy White Sodium Fluoride Anti-Cavity Mouthrinse: I was drawn to this mouthwash for two reasons. First, it’s a gentle version of Listerine, which has always worked well but is quite painful to use. Second, it’s a whitening rinse. While I did find it to be a decent mouthwash, leaving my breath fresh and my mouth clean without the traditional burn of Listerine, I can’t say that I noticed much in terms of whitening.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula: These peels make regular appearances in my empties posts, because they work well and I use them often. Read more here.

Bath & Body Works Be Enchanted Shower Gel: I’m not sure if they still make this scent; I found this bottle of body wash stuffed in the back of my soaps and shower gels bin, which is nearly empty – hooray! As with all Bath & Body Works shower gels, I found it to be quite perfume-y at first but the scent quickly faded after rinsing. These gels clean well. I don’t find them to be overly drying or all that moisturizing. A pretty average but effective body wash.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid: I wrote about this a few weeks back and am still loving it. I received this bottle in a past Birchbox and have since purchased a full sized replacement bottle. Now that the weather has let up a bit and my skin is not quite so crazy, I’m finding that using this every 2 or 3 days is enough to keep things in check. One of my top product picks of the year so far!

August 2014 Empties

It occurred to me the other night that I’m nearly done with eight months of this yearlong shopping ban. Eight months! I have to say, there have been some very tempting moments recently. Every time a new Allure Beauty Box comes out I feel a strong need to purchase it, and some of the new fall nail colors are just beautiful! But, I’ve come this far; what’s four months more? Now, a look at what I cleared from the bathroom shelves this month:
August 2014 Empties
Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment: The Fresh Sugar balms are all amazing, and this is probably my favorite. It has a nice soft rosy tint that instantly adds polish to any look. It’s also very moisturizing and gentle on sensitive skin.

Number 4 Lumiere d’hiver Clarifying Shampoo: By design, this shampoo doesn’t lather up very much, which I dislike in a shampoo. It did clean and clarify my hair and scalp, and left very clean and shiny hair in its wake. However, I found my hair got a bit greasy within a few hours of using it. It also has sort of an earthy, spicy scent that I didn’t love.

Colgate Cavity Protection Flouride Toothpaste: Plain ol’ Colgate. What can I say? It’s a quality toothpaste that always leaves my mouth feeling clean.

Clarisonic Refreshing Gel Cleanser: I was impressed with this fresh-smelling cleanser right away. Though it’s formatted for normal to oily skin, I didn’t find it to be drying, and it left my skin soft and clear, whether or not I used it with my Clarisonic brush.

Crest 3D White Multi-Care Whitening Rinse: If you’re into whitening your teeth – and really, who isn’t? – I find that using a whitening rinse really helps improve the effectiveness of your overall plan. I really like this rinse – it works well and has a great flavor, leaving you with nice fresh breath and no burning mouthwash sensation!

Boscia Super-Cool De-Puffing Eye Balm: I buy this again and again. I don’t know how I would get by without it, especially on hot summer days and whenever I don’t get enough sleep. It feels amazing and de-puffs quickly. Get it!

L’Oreal EverCreme Deep Nourishing Masque: I’m so glad I tried this sample! Such a winner. This deep conditioning masque left my hair so soft I couldn’t stop playing with it. It also has a rich, cocoa-buttery scent that I adore. I will definitely be repurchasing this!

Jergens Daily Moisture Dry Skin Moisturizer: I’ve been trying to use up this jumbo bottle of lotion for the entire year! Don’t get me wrong, this is a solid moisturizer that I would highly recommend. It doesn’t have much of a scent, absorbs quickly and doesn’t clog pores. It’s lightweight enough to use in the summer but moisturizing enough to use in the winter. An overall winner; I’ll just get a smaller bottle next time!

June 2014 Empties

Happy summer readers! Another month has come and gone, and with it, a big pile of empties – I’ve been busy testing and trying a variety of products. I’m also learning some important beauty shopping lessons. The most important one so far? If, like me, you are a beauty blogger or product enthusiast who enjoys buying and trying lots of different products, do not under any circumstances buy a jumbo-sized bottle of anything. Deluxe samples and travel sized version are perfect for girls like us, and give us a chance at actually finishing a bottle of something in a reasonable amount of time. Which brings me to my first empty:
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Pantene Pro-V Fine Hair Solutions Volume Shampoo: This has been my go-to shampoo for many years, which is probably why I purchased a giant bottle of it in the first place. Now, sure, I’ve tried other little bottles of shampoo here and there, but I’m pretty sure it took me a year to finish this one! It’s a great volumizer, although it can be a little drying. I love the fresh clean scent. This is certainly a solid drugstore buy – just make sure you pick up a smaller bottle.

Boscia Clear Complexion Willow Bark Spot Treatment: I’ve written about this skincare savior a couple times before, so I’ll be brief. It takes care of blemishes, quickly, and it comes in a convenient little pen. It’s awesome.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Extra Strength Alpha Beta Face Peel: I accidentally purchased a box of the extra strength peels instead of the regular ones, which I swear by. These are also amazing for smoothing your skin and getting you glowy in minutes. I have somewhat sensitive skin and I found these only very mildly irritating. If you have highly sensitive skin, I’d avoid this strength.

Secret Invisible Solid: I took this tiny deodorant with me on vacation and finished it up when I returned. It keeps sweat and odors at bay, but I’m not crazy about the scent, and it rubbed off on some of my clothing.

Freeman Facial Brightening Paper Mask in Rose: What a little gem! This serum-infused paper mask brightens skin in 3 to 5 minutes. I left it on for 4, and woke up to noticeably fresher looking skin the next day. I found it easy to use and very pleasant. I’ll definitely buy these again.

Bath & Body Works White Citrus Shower Gel: This super sudsy body wash has a light, clean fresh scent that’s just right for summer. A quality cleanser for sure.

Nuxe Multi-Usage Dry Oil: This hair, face and body oil smells absolutely heavenly, but my praise for it ends there. I used this sample on my hair, and the results were disastrous. The first time I tried it, I used a very small amount, and it left my hair both flat and frizzy. The second time I decided to use a bit more, and my hair was so greasy that I had to slick it back and pretend I was going for the oily look. Perhaps my hair is just too fine for this type of oil.

Crest 3D White Flouride Anticavity Toothpaste: I just wrote about the full-sized version of this, so there’s not much more to say. A standby whitening toothpaste!

Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Advanced Volume Shampoo: I think I may have found my new favorite volumizing shampoo! This stuff has a scent that I can only describe as a cross between bubblegum and sour apple. It made my hair so bouncy and soft, and really helped keep frizz at a minimum. I definitely recommend it for fine-haired ladies.

May 2014 Empties

Happy Memorial Day beauties! As May draws to a close I’m happy to report that I’m still successfully sticking to my shopping ban! I’ll admit, I’ve felt a little temptation, and I’m really missing my Birchbox subscription, but I’ve tried some great products, and I’m committed to continuing through the end of the year. Here’s what I used up this month:
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Softsoap Body Butter Strawberry Smoother: This thick and creamy body wash uses strawberry seeds to exfoliate and jojoba butter to moisturize all in one go. It did soften my skin considerably, allowing me to skip my normal post-shower lotion, but acne-prone girls beware – I found little blemishes occasionally popped up on my arms and legs while using this product.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment: Sad to see this one go! This whole line of lip balms, from this original version to the many tinted ones, is fantastic. A must have for smooth lips in one swipe.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara: This is hands down one of the best mascaras on the market today. It really does amp up lashes to a surprising degree. Use this if you want thicker, longer, darker, fuller lashes. You can even get away with skipping your eyelash curler if you’ve got this on!

Clinique High Impact Mascara: This is a perfect day-to-day mascara. It looks natural, with a touch of polish. It also won’t clump, flake, or hurt sensitive eyes.

Naked Princess Naked Shine in Barely Coco: I used up this tiny sample in a matter of days. If you’re looking for a new workday lip gloss, this is it. It’s light and smooth, and Barely Coco is a lovely pinky brown shade that looks natural but better. I will absolutely be buying this when my ban is up!

Covergirl CGSmoothers BB Cream: This is not the first time this has showed up in my empties list. Again, this is my favorite wintertime daily moisturizer, as it is a perfect match for my fair complexion and evens out imperfections in a flash.

Crest 3D White Flouride Anticavity Toothpaste in Radiant Mint: I’m always trying different whitening toothpastes, and I always seem to come back to this one. It has a nice flavor, it brightens my smile and it leaves my mouth feeling fresh.

Degree Motionsense in Shower Clean: Lately I’ve found it increasingly difficult to find a decent antiperspirant. This one is a wonderful exception. I am obsessed with the fresh scent, it keeps me clean and fresh all day, and it doesn’t rub off or stain my clothes. This one is definitely a winner.

Drugstore Delights

As a beauty fanatic, I’m always on the lookout for the best products on the market. I shop at a wide range of stores, and might spend anywhere from 4 to 40 dollars on a concealer, 2 to 20 on a shampoo, and I’m quite certain I’d spend any amount on a product that could make my dark circles truly disappear. That being said, I often find that you get what you pay for – my favorite finds tend to come with a larger price tag. Sometimes, however, I’m blown away by a simple drugstore product that doesn’t even come close to breaking the bank.

Right now I’m absolutely devoted to a couple of drugstore collections that, in my opinion, are worth more than their asking price. About a month ago I decided I wanted whiter teeth. I’ve tried whitening strips, whitening gum, and a smattering of whitening toothpastes, but none have really come through with the results I’m looking for, and many come with an extra dose of chemical aftertaste that I simply do not enjoy. But, before throwing in the towel on my whitening efforts, I decided to give Crest 3D White a try. I bought the Flouride Anticavity Toothpaste in Radiant Mint, the Multi-Care Whitening Rinse in Fresh Mint, and I even grabbed some Crest Glide Whitening Floss in Mint Splash. At the very least, I figured, I’d have minty breath.

So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the 3D White collection, and I’ve noticed a real difference in the brightness of my teeth. Also, in the last week I’ve had several different people compliment me on my smile. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought my teeth needed a makeover! I’m not sure the floss is really doing any whitening, but it’s not hurting, and it’s a nice, easy-to-use floss that doesn’t shred itself on my teeth. Both the toothpaste and the rinse are pleasantly minty. In fact, I find it nearly impossible not to pounce on my boyfriend for a make out session after I use the rinse – my mouth feels so clean, I want to show it off! The toothpaste leaves my teeth feeling super clean, and again, gets results. I use all three products at least once a day, and I started to see a change in whiteness after about a week.

The other drugstore deal I’m loving right now is the Dove Go Fresh line. It started with the Dove Go Fresh Cool Moisture Beauty Bar with Cucumber and Green Tea. The ultra moisturizing non-soap has a light clean scent that makes me feel breezy and fresh. Once I realized how much I loved it, I decided to try Dove Go Fresh Body Mist in the same scent. Not only is it non-perfumey and, yes, extremely fresh smelling, it also has a hint of moisturizer in it! A few spritzes of this mist makes me feel like I just hopped out of the shower. And it costs less than $5.

As if soap and body spray weren’t enough, Dove also makes a cucumber and green tea anti-perspirant! My next stop at my local Rite Aid had me stopping at the deodorant section and yes, I bought the Dove Ultimate Go Fresh Anti-perspirant. It shares that same irresistible scent, lasts all day, and so far has kept my armpits completely sweat-free.

I may not be trading my department store mascara for one of its cheaper cousins anytime soon, and I don’t expect to give up my Sephora shopping sprees, but these drugstore gems have certainly renewed my faith in less-expensive products. They’ve also freshened my underarms – and my breath.

Now that’s delightful.