April Empties

“The beauty in simplicity surpasses the need for things!” 

Hello friends & Happy Tuesday! 

Umm, did anyone else just realize that it’s friggen’ JULY next week?? Seriously, where the heck has this year gone? 

And speaking of realizations, I’ve also discovered that I’m a tad behind in my monthly empties posts. So, I thought today would be the perfect time to chat about the products I used up in the month of April. In past empties posts, I seem to have whizzed through a whole lotta makeup products. This empties post looks a lot different as it’s comprised mainly  of skincare and hair care. I suppose that’s what happens when your everyday quarantine makeup routine consists solely of mascara and lippies!  

Now, before we jump right into the empties, I believe it’s worth stressing the importance of actually USING the products that you have. I know, I know, you’re probably saying “well DUH Ashley!”. And I totally get it, it seems like such a basic concept however I’m guilty of being a borderline beauty hoarder. I love to buy things (lipsticks, bronzers and lately, a whole lotta blushes) only to add them to my collection + never bring them out to play. It’s taken me MANY years to realize that if I don’t use the products that I already own, how am I:

1) going to know if they work for me 

2) are worth the price tag 

3) are worth sharing with all of you! 

In putting together this post, I realized that I was actually disappointed by the majority of the products that I used. And while that kinda blows, it’s also great because now I know what products not to waste my time (and $$$) on!  

Now, enough with the small talk, let’s talk APRIL EMPTIES! 

GARNIER Whole Blends Gentle Rinse-Out Mask  

First on my list of empties is something I never thought I’d ever use up, a hair mask! 

At the beginning of 2020, I decided to start taking better care of my hair by introducing hair masks into my {weekly} routine, because who doesn’t want soft, luscious locks?! Okay fine that’s not exactly the reason. Late last year I dipped my toes into the angled bob life and I have to say, I was LOVING it! I don’t care what you say about short hair, I was a fan! And so, after a couple months, it needed a bit of a refresh. Now, when I went into the salon and asked for a trim, I was not expecting to be BUTCHERED. I’m talking being left with 3 inches of hair at the back of my head, the bottom BUZZED (like I was in some kind of biker gang) + no hair on my head was long enough for even the teeniest, tiniest little pony. If you know me, then you’ll know I’ve always had a pretty laissez-faire attitude towards my hair. A bad color job can be corrected, a bad cut can always grow out. However, this cut (if you can even call it that) left me out of sorts. After the trauma of the massacre that was my hair wore off, I was desperate to find ways to speed up the growth process. I figured that hair masks could be one of those such things. 

While Sephora is my one stop shop for all things beauty, there was no way I was going to be spending $30+ on a hair mask (a lip gloss sure but not a hair product). And so, as I always do, I turned to the next best thing…Shoppers Drug Mart. 

With so many options in the Shopper hair care aisle, I made a quick game time decision and picked up the GARNIER Oat Delicacy Gentle Rinse-Out Mask. This particular mask gently nourishes and softens hair. A natural cleanser with anti-inflammatory powers, Oat Milk gently draws away impurities (excess oil in skin) to restore shine. Also rich in fiber, B vitamins, it is believed to stimulate healthy cell renewal. 

Now, I can’t say that I’ve noticed a huge difference (or any difference for that matter) in my hair over the 4 months I’ve been using the GARNIER product. That being said, I’m totally on the hair masking bandwagon now and I think it’s been the perfect addition to my self-care routine. 

Will I Repurchase: I’m not exactly running back to Shopper’s to repurchase a tub of the GARNIER masks, however I’d be open to it in the future. The other week, I actually purchased the OGX Mermaid Hair Mask and I’m SO excited to try that one out (it smells like candy and is an opalescent color with a hint of shimmer!!).

L’Oreal Paris Everpure Blonde Shampoo

As a not so natural blonde (shocking I know!), this purple shampoo is a lifesaver! There are SO many different purple shampoos on the market today, however this one has to be my favorite (and it doesn’t break the bank like so many others). It’s 100% sulfate free and neutralizes brassiness while also hydrating blonde, color-treated hair. Oh and it’s vegan AND has UV protection, which is amazing! 

Will I Repurchase: Heck ya! 

SOL Janeiro Brazilian 4 Play Moisturizing Shower Cream-Gel

I don’t know how this scandalously named shower cream made its way into my collection, but I am so glad that it did! It smells incredible (if you’ve ever tried their cult classic Brazilian   Bum Bum cream then you’ll know what I’m talking about) and it has to be THE most moisturizing shower gel I’ve ever used.

Sephora describes the SOL Janeiro Brazilian 4 Play Moisurizing Shower Cream-Gel as being: 

> perfect for every skin type (dry, normal, combination, oily & sensitive) 

> a creamy, lathering body wash that gently nourishes and cleanses the skin 

> has notes of salted caramel, pistachio + vanilla (YUM!) 

> the perfect solution for skin dryness, dullness + helps with uneven texture 

> free of Parabens, Phthalates, PEGs, synthetic colors + animal by-products 

> infused with naturally powerful ingredients from the Amazon (cupuaçu butter, coconut oil, and the antioxidant superpower of açaí)

Will I Repurchase: I want to say yes, however it’s a pricey little bottle of shower gel considering how little product you get. While it’s only $13, I would be looking for something that lasts more than a week’s worth of showers. If anyone’s looking for a yummy smelling shower gel, definitely check out Cake Beauty! They have a few incredibly scented shower gels (in the scents: Milk Made, Heavy Cream, Desserted Island).  

MAC Shadescents in “CRÈME D’NUDE”

When I think of the perfect scent, I think of warm notes of vanilla, even a hint of sugary sweetness. In my 31 years of existence, I’ve never quite liked a perfume as much as I’ve liked this one (and Pink Sugar of course). MAC describes their “Creme D’Nude” scent as capturing the vibrant sexiness of clean, radiant, glowing skin, through a cocoon of velvet musk. YUM! Finishing this bottle makes it the 5TH Creme D’Nude I’ve used up! 

Will I Repurchase: It is with great sadness that I announce that this 5th bottle will be the last of the MAC perfumes that I purchase. Perhaps that deserves a moment of silence. In my MAC Lipstick Favs post (click here if you missed it) I mentioned that MAC was sadly not cruelty free. As much as I LOVE this perfume (gosh I love it so much), I cannot bring myself to repurchase something (no matter how lovely) from a brand that tests on animals. 

p.s. If you’re interested in seeing if some of your favorite brands test on animals, click here!

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

This cult favorite has been in my stash for quite some time now, I’m actually not sure when I purchased it (must have been at least 1.5 years ago). While I’m glad I tried it, I believe (well not believe, I KNOW) it did more damage to my skin than good. 

The Beauty Elixir is said to:

> be inspired by Queen Isabelle of Hungary’s famous elixir of youth 

> tighten pores and set makeup, providing an instant shot of radiance to the skin 

> act as a complexion treatment to reduce dullness

> contain rosemary, astringent mint, rose organic essential oil + grape extracts 

> be vegan, non-toxic, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and free of all synthetic chemicals

 > be perfect as an aftershave for men 

Ugh it sounds SO lovely and yet, I just hated it. I was spritzing this on my face every single day and at first, things seemed great. Then I started to notice how dry my skin was becoming. Like painfully dry (seriously, my skin hurt). I decided to start swapping out different makeup products to see what the cause of the dryness was, all while continuing to use the Beauty Elixir. 

Will I Repurchase: If it hadn’t reacted with my skin the way it did, I would justify this $22 setting spray. However, I can’t put my skin through that again. 

Kopari Coconut Lip Glossy

Where are all the thumbs down emojis at, because they’re definitely needed for this balm! As far as disappointing lippies go, this one by Kopari sadly takes the cake. Its taken me a hot minute to get through because it actually felt like a chore to use, and a messy one at that. While it smelt lovely, I found it to be incredibly greasy and oily on the lips and that’s just not the kind of formula I want anywhere near this plumped pout!    

It’s possible that I’m just super picky when it comes to lip products because based on what Sephora has to say about it, you’d think it would be perfect! 

– It’s a petroleum-free 

– It’s coconut flavored + isn’t sticky 

– The perfect solution for dry lips 

– Formulated with squalane (derived from olives), shea butter + 100% organic coconut oil 

– Can be used as an eye or cheek gloss 

– Vegan, non-GMO, cruelty free and formulated without silicone

Will I Repurchase: Umm no! I’m all about a lip balm, however there are a ton of incredible ones that I would much sooner reach for before I gave this one another chance. Which ones you ask? BITE Beauty Agave Lip MaskMILK Makeup Kush Lip BalmBobbi Brown Extra Lip TintBiossance Squalane+ Rose Vegan Lip Balm 

Jamieson Melatonin Gummies 

It’s no secret that I’m a long time member of the “I can’t sleep without melatonin” club. Definitely not one of the better clubs to be a member of but whatcha gonna do. I’ve tried everything from dissolvable Melatonin tablets to essential oils, CBD oil to white noise machines. Of course, the minute I heard that there was a strawberry flavored gummie that would knock me out, I mean…sign me up! 

These strawberry flavored gummies are: 

  • Gelatin-free and vegetarian-friendly
  • Helps improve sleep quality
  • Natural, safe and non-habit-forming sleep aid

Now, do these gummies taste great? 100% Yes! 

Do they help you fall asleep? That would be a no.

Will I Repurchase: No sir! They were more of a tasty little snack than a means to enter into dreamland! 

L’Oreal Paris Magic Shampoo Invisible Dry Shampoo 

You name it, I’ve tried it…when it comes to dry shampoo. Now, when I saw this brightly colored can and saw that it was “Tropical Splash” scented, you could say that I was intrigued. L’Oreal describes their Invisible Dry Shampoo as being the magic solution to refresh and volumize hair in between shampoos, without water…not unique to how every other dry shampoo is currently being advertised. 

While I did manage to make it to the bottom of this can, I don’t exactly look back on my time with it with the fondest of memories. For one, it was NOT invisible (and I don’t think that was user error haha). and secondly, at a push this could be used on 2nd day hair (definitely not on 3rd day hair!). It made my roots look especially dry and kind of disheveled. 

Now, in putting together this post, I stumbled upon the ingredients of this particular dry shampoo. Take a look …

Isobutane • Alcohol Denat. • Oryza Sativa Starch • Isopropyl Myristate • Dicocoylethyl • Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate • Stearalkonium Hectorite • Linalool • Benzyl Alcohol • Benzyl Salicylate • Propylene Glycol • Propylene Carbonate • Geraniol • Cetrimonium Chloride • Citronellol • Coumarin • Hexyl Cinnamal • Parfum

You want to pay close attention to the first few ingredients to have a better understanding of what exactly is in a product. The ingredients are listed in order of predominance, aka with the ingredients used in the greatest amount first. Case in point, I recently purchased a hemp seed oil moisturizer. With “HEMP SEED OIL” splattered across the brightly colored packaging, I’m sure the majority of people purchased this product thinking that they would reap the proven benefits of a product that contained such an ingredient. Ingredient #1: water, ingredient #24: Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil. 

Now, when it comes to this dry shampoo from L’Oreal, ingredient #2 is something called alcohol denat. After a quick google search, I discovered that alcohol denat actually goes against everything healthy skin and hair want, sucking the hydration right out of us. So, for someone who is trying to grow their hair + make it as healthy as it can be (while being color treated), I’m no scientist but I think this product (and perhaps all dry shampoos) are actually working against my goal! 

Will I Repurchase: Hell to the no! If I’m going to continue to use a dry shampoo, I’ll 1000% need to look at the ingredients first! I’m not even sure that there’s a dry shampoo that won’t contain alcohol, however if there is, I shall make it my mission to find it!

And there you have it friends! I don’t know about you, but I’ve found this empties post to be quite educational (if I do say so myself haha)! 

Are there any products that you’ve gone through a lot of over the last few months? 

Thanks so much for stopping by & until next time! 

   xo 

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