January 2017 empties

It’s my first empties post of the year! Starting off strong, riding the high of determination to stick to my New Year’s resolutions. I made it a point to use up both deluxe sample sizes, and foil packets. Here’s what I managed to get rid of this past month.

Makeup empties

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland – This has surprising coverage for something called “skin tint.” It’s more like a medium-to-full coverage foundation. I didn’t like it very much on me. It clung to dry patches and made my skin look very flat. To compensate, I added copious amounts of highlighter. I’m wearing it in this FOTD here.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard – This had a lot of mixed reviews in the blogosphere. Some people found it too drying for the under eye area, and the finish too cakey or “makeup-y.” Other people love it and found it covers well and still looks natural. From what little trial and research I could do based off this tiny foil packet sample, I am one of the latter. I used to use the now discontinued dual pan concealer in Ginger/Custard, and I was pleased to see that this iteration of Custard still more or less matched me. I might consider purchasing this after I get through my army of concealers.

Urban Decay Vice lipstick in Sheer Anarchy – From the card sampler from Urban Decay, marketing their new Vice line of lipsticks. The blister pack is filled with a generous amount of lipstick; more than I can get through in a day. However, I’m not very diligent about reapplying. It took me several months to get through this tiny thing, mostly because it’s a pain in the ass to apply lipstick entirely with a brush, and even more of a pain in the ass to touch up throughout the day. This led to the formula slowly drying up and becoming tacky and sticky. Additionally, application was streaky.

Despite user frustration and laziness, I will say that the color is nice. I like bright pinks on me; they contrast nicely with my neutral leaning warm skin tone. Wearing it here.

Nordstrom retractable lip brush – It broke. I bought a very cute and tiny replacement one from MUJI. Thinking about splurging for this Chikuhodo one for my birthday. (I probably won’t do it. I’ve been unemployed for too long and am hoping to move halfway across the world. Now would be a good time to start being prudent, Jen.)

The Body Shop Smoky 2 in 1 Gel Liner in Brown – It’s dried up. I tried to revive it twice with Inglot’s Duraline, but it’s still not as creamy as it was when new. It was a great color, though. Deep chocolate brown with a matte finish. The cap includes a little brush, which was surprisingly very useful. If you can finish gel liners faster than I can, then I’d recommend taking a look at this one. It’s much darker and less red than the packaging would have you believe, though.

Skincare empties

belif Hungarian water essence – These three belif minis were part of a 250-point Sephora perk. They’re supposed to work together to hydrate and moisturize your skin. I ended up loving all three products; they calmed my skin down when it was flaking due to traveling and chemical exfoliation. They left my skin feeling plump and soft, but never greasy. I would consider repurchasing, but 1) they’re hella expensive and 2) as far as I know, belif isn’t cruelty free.

Again, I am not a strict cruelty-free only consumer. After all, some of my favorite brushes are made with squirrel hair. But I like to do what I can. Flame away if you think this makes me a hypocrite, but I think we should all set our own rules for how we live our lives. Some people draw the line at any and all animal products and go vegan all the way; other people don’t give two hoots and will buy products no matter what their CF status. I’m somewhere in the middle, and I’m okay with that.

Anyhoot. The water essence is very liquid-y, and absorbs quickly. It’s a nice first layer of moisture (although I honestly can’t get into the 10-step Korean skincare routine; it’s too much for me).

belif The true cream – aqua bomb – I *think* this is supposed to be the second step? I reached this conclusion by reading the descriptions on the little jars. The aqua bomb is supposed to result in “increased hydration level 18%.” It had a watery, gel-like texture, but was pleasantly non-sticky. Some nights, if I was feeling lazy and/or well hydrated, I stopped here.

belif The true cream – moisturizing bomb – The moisturizing bomb is supposed to “retain moisture for up to 16 hours.” So my logic: boost moisture, then retain. Sound solid? So this went on last, based on my super scientific hypothesis and critical thinking skills. Please tell me if I’m wrong.

This was a much thicker and richer cream. I used a very thin layer so as not to wake up swimming in a pool of oil. My skin is generally normal with some dry patches and an oily prone T-zone (I think. I’m still trying to figure it out). However, if I go overboard with the moisturizer and it happens to be a humid night a.k.a., 360/365 nights of the year in Hawaii, then I wake up oily.

Yes to Carrots Intense Hydration night cream – I was very lackluster towards this. It was an okay moisturizer. I neglected it for too long while I tried more interesting samples of other stuff, and it turned rancid. Oops.

Perfume empties

Chloé eau de parfum – My very unsophisticated and untrained nose picks up A LOT of rose from this fragrance. It’s not overwhelming or offensive though. I’m not a big fan of rose scents in general, but this did grow on me after awhile. Not crazy in love with it, but I may pick up a travel size rollerball of this one day. Here’s the Fragrantica page on it.

Prada Candy eau de parfum – Another surprise for me. This one is super sweet and girly, also not a type of scent I’d gravitate toward. However, after watching Killer Colours’ video on it (she knows way more about perfume than I do, btw), I decided to give my sample a try. I liked it for casual days (lol who am I kidding), and it’s another one I’d consider buying a travel rollerball of. Here’s the Fragrantica page, and here is Viola’s video (she starts talking about Prada Candy at about 7:55. The whole video is enjoyable, though.)

Clean Reserve Amber Saffron eau de parfum – The cashier at Sephora randomly threw this in my bag at checkout one day. I honestly can’t remember anything about this scent. Fragrantica to the rescue! Needless to say, I won’t be purchasing this. *shrugs* I used it mostly to get rid of the little annoying plastic bag it came with, since the vaporizer itself wasn’t labeled.

(Holy ish, I wrote a lot of blabber. I also used a lot of parentheses.)

If you read all the way down here, *internet high five!*