In true post-Christmas fashion, I did a deep clean of our apartment with my honey. We needed to re-organize to make space for our new gifts and to store the Christmas decorations. I ended up with a bunch of empty products and some that just needed to go. So I thought I’d take a few minutes to share which of these I liked and didn’t like and some final thoughts since I’ve been slacking as far as individual product reviews go, but that’s one of my goals in 2019! And don’t worry, I’ll link to all of the products at the bottom so that you can take a look after you read everything!
Anastasia Brow Definer Pencil
I grabbed this last year in hopes of discovering a holy grail product, but I was let down. Kind of. Let me explain. The product itself is great, but the tip of the pencil doesn’t work well for me. I’m not slow and steady enough. This one has the triangular tip whereas the brow wiz has a skinny pencil tip. I would have been better off with the brow wiz, but the definer comes with more product in it, so I thought it was a better deal. Ultimately, I ended up using an angled brush (like you would apply a pomade with) to apply the product. I was able to keep it neater this way and had fewer instances of creating extra eyebrow where it wasn’t needed. It’s not too waxy, too dry and stiff, and it doesn’t melt. So I’m really happy with the product overall, but as a girl on a budget, I’m going to stick with my NYX Micro Brow for the foreseeable future. I use the taupe shade for both of these. The blonde was too warm toned for my personal taste.
Bath and Body Works Body Cream
This is one of those items I get every year from family and I finally used this one up. I know people have mixed opinions on B&BW products, but I like them. Their body cream formula is better than their regular lotion in my opinion because it’s not as greasy. I think the cream is thicker but absorbs better. I apply it religiously after I shower because my skin is forever dry.
Bath and Body Works Whipped Body Butter
This is probably my all-time favorite of their formulas as far as lotion goes. I love the lavender and sandalwood scent. It’s so calming and perfect for when you’re fresh out of a shower and then hopping into clean sheets. Name a better feeling… I’ll wait. I prefer this formula because it has the natural lavender oil rather than a bunch of chemical perfumes. It also absorbs nicely into the skin and doesn’t leave any kind of residue on your clothes/sheets. I used it up so fast which is saying something because I like to “save” products I like. I’ll intentionally avoid using them so I don’t run out. But, with this, I used it up so quickly without hesitation. It’s soooo good.
Boscia Perfecting White Charcoal Mattifying Treatment Primer
I have collected two of these samples through various ways and I have tried them a million different ways to no avail. They’re going in the trash. I do not like these at all. They pile up on my skin so bad and my foundation just slides off my face no matter what I do. I love a lot of Boscia’s other products, but this one just didn’t do it for me!
Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes
These are in a sage and cucumber scent and that’s where the trouble starts. I can’t get over the scent. It’s very earthy, which is not my cup of tea. These also made my eyes sting if I got too close to them. They did a decent job of taking off makeup, but I probably won’t buy them again.
Clean & Clear Deep Cleaning Toner for Sensitive Skin
This is a really good drugstore toner and I enjoyed it a lot. I still miss my The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil toner, but this was a good replacement for it (not a dupe). I just couldn’t afford to grab another one at the time. This one is marked for sensitive skin and I had no issues with it. I will say that that it can be a bit drying if you have dry skin. I would recommend only using once daily and then applying a moisturizer right after. I’ll definitely re-buy this as needed, but am currently working through another toner!
Deva Curl Matcha Butter Conditioning Mask
Some of you know my hair is naturally wavy with some more curl underneath. Plus I’ve had it balayaged a couple of times to lighten it, thus requiring a lot of moisture to maintain this lion’s mane. I also heat style it several times each week. I know, I know. Ya girl is a hairstylist’s worst nightmare. But, I do use lots of hair masks. This has been one of my favorites so far. I got it in a Sephora Play Box (I think) and loved using it. It smells delicious and noticeably hydrated my hair without it looking dirty. I’m going to look into re-buying this once I use up my other masks!
ELF Makeup Mist & Set
I used this completely and liked it, but not for setting spray purposes. Mainly, I used it anytime I needed to wet my brush or finger to amplify an eyeshadow or apply a glittery shadow. Initially, I tried elf Mist & Set as a setting spray, but it didn’t seem to help my makeup last any longer (which is what I look for in a setting spray). That being said, I did not want to just throw the bottle away so I tried something different. Since it’s so inexpensive, I didn’t mind. I probably wouldn’t re-buy unless the formula changes, but it’s still a decent product.
Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Hairspray
This is one of my favorite hairsprays! I loved using it. It gives good hold without being crunchy. It’s got that right-in-the-middle feel and I love how it smells. It helps control frizz and combat humidity, which is very important considering I live in the South aka the most humid part of the world. I will definitely be re-buying this once I run out of the other hairspray I had stowed away (are you sensing a pattern here? I was serious about my product usage (read about it here)).
L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation
Y’all. This is my holy grail drugstore foundation. I’ve gone through two or three tubes of it and am working on another as we speak. I love this foundation. It’s a dewy finish that sets down like a dream with powder. It has light-medium coverage and is a foundation I use year-round. This is the one drug-store foundation I’ve found that doesn’t have orange undertones and looks truly neutral in tone. I even cut the tube and scraped out the remaining foundation to make the most of the product. I love applying this foundation with either a brush or a sponge and blending to perfection.
L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
This has been a favorite of mine since it launched and I’ve been using it like crazy. I’m pretty sure this is the third tube I’ve used. I like it better than Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara because it doesn’t flake off in 5 minutes like BTS. I grab it in the shade blackest black (my usual mascara shade) because I’m not a falsies person and I have naturally long lashes so why not make the most of them! I’m trying to work my way through my stash of mascaras before buying anything new. I would buy this again, but I also really enjoy Maybelline’s Lash Sensational mascara because of the curved and flared wand as compared to this one’s hourglass shape.
Maybelline Master Fix Setting Spray
I’m on the fence about this setting spray so it’s one I probably won’t re-buy. I used the whole bottle, but I had to force myself to use it. It was pretty good overall, but the spray nozzle is not my cup of tea. The spray itself was very heavy and shot out in a big burst with rather large drops landing on the face rather than a fine mist. Maybelline Master Fix would probably be better if you spray it on a beauty blender for bouncing in your foundation, but not for spraying your face directly. It felt like it did okay as far as helping my makeup last for a full day. I love the size of the bottle though. It’s definitely more than you get with most other drugstore brands. I might give it another chance one day.
Milani Make it Last Setting Spray
This is one of my favorite drugstore setting sprays. I really love the mister on this bottle. It’s super fine and airy and lands evenly on your skin as compared to some of the others that I’ve used. I also enjoy the smell of this one, too. The only downfall that I could find is the size of the bottle. I find it to be on the smaller size. If this came in a bottle the size of the Maybelline Master Fix, but still had Milani’s nozzle and product, I’d be in heaven! I wish the drugstore would give us bigger bottles!
Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara
I’m going to be upfront and say that this didn’t wow me. I’m not sure if the formula is different because this was a sample size of the product, but it dried up really quick. I felt like I didn’t get to use all of the product. It applied and wore like your run-of-the-mill mascara. But, when it comes to mascaras, it does take a lot to wow me. I wouldn’t buy the full-size of this just because I generally prefer drugstore mascaras, but I did enjoy it for the short time it was usable.
NYX Micro Brow Pencil
This is one of my holy grail products that I look forward to using every day. I seriously feel incomplete without it. I, of course, went through two by the time I’m finally getting this posted, but that’s because I use it every day. Brows are one of those things I cannot go into public without. And I haven’t found another *affordable* brow product that applies quite as this one does! If you have suggestions, please let me know – I’m thinking a good pomade might be in my future. This product isn’t too stiff or too waxy and applies smoothly and evenly. I can’t get enough of this pencil and always grab another in the shade taupe. I tend to prefer this over a triangle tipped brow product because I like to be able to be precise and have more realistic hair like strokes rather than just fully outlined and filled in brows (think Instagram brows – not for this girl). Plus, I love that you can find this almost anywhere! This is a staple product in my makeup bag and one and I will of course re-purchase.
Redken Pillow Proof Dry Shampoo
Now, this is arguably the best dry shampoo I have ever used. A huge thank you to the stylist who recommended it to me. It is not greasy, doesn’t weigh your hair down, doesn’t feel heavy or like you have powder in it, and does not leave a white residue. This ish is crystal clear and I love it. That being said, I’m holding off on re-purchasing for now because I’m trying all drugstore everything this year when it comes to beauty purchases (and by purchases I mean when I run out of everything I have of a specific product i.e. foundation or brow pencil). This girl has other goals she’s working on in 2019. If you have the spare funds (it’s not an arm and a leg, but not everyone can drop $20.00 on dry shampoo) and are looking for a holy grail dry shampoo, I recommend picking this one up from Ulta!
Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes and Micellar Facial Wipes
I know what you’re thinking – does this girl have anything better to do than to bash makeup wipes? But, hold on a minute – Simple is the one brand who never steers me wrong. I do not know what they do differently, but they are my go to. This one or the micellar version (see next 2 pics!). I don’t really see a huge difference between the two, but the one thing I do notice is that they do not burn my eyes. That’s right friends, no melting your eyeballs when you take your makeup off! I swear by them and you can pick them up from Target or Walmart. I usually grab the two pack of them just to keep stock and save a few pennies. I’m a big fan and by choice will not be buying any other makeup remover wipes ever. I don’t know the mystery ingredient they leave out that causes me so much eye irritation, but Simple nailed it with these and I am so grateful to them for it!
Miscellaneous Nail Polish
Part of my declutter was getting rid of nail polishes that are dried up or that just don’t work well for me. I have particularly thin nails, so I keep them super short. Even then, I still have difficulty with getting nail polish to stay on without chipping. I’m working on my technique and will loop you in on some stuff I’m trying out soon.
I was really sad to part with this Essie color. I really love their polishes, but this was one that got super thick and goopy and had trouble getting to dry. It’s a pretty, deep maroon color, but unfortunately, the label is gone with the color name on it. The Pure Ice grey was one I received from Influenster, but this polish chipped almost instantly. I love the color, but couldn’t get it to stay. The purple sinful colors shade was also thick and very old so she had to go to. The LA Colors in shade 212 was the prettiest purple-grey shade I’ve ever seen but didn’t stay on my nails AT ALL. The Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Polish was another beautiful maroon shade but also got thick. I’ve had these polishes for a while and it was time to let them go.
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Friends, it’s time to go through and get rid of any empty products or focus on winding down those that are almost empty. I’d love to hear what products you’ve worked your way through or decided it was time to toss. Drop a comment and let me know what you like and don’t like and if you’ve tried any of these out also!
Until next time,