I put myself into an informal “no buy” in July. I was doing really well until about the middle of the month. David needed me to order him some skincare. And I did. But, I added a couple of items for myself too. Oops. I also ended up buying some liquid lipsticks at Ricky’s and some sheet masks in K-Town. I’ll be more serious about it in August.
I’ve decided in July that I need to “tackle” some of these samples that have been piling up. You’ll notice a lot of sample/trial sizes used up this month. That was intentional. Go me! But, I was more surprised by how many full-size empties I used up. I had no idea I was running low on so many things.
Here’s what I emptied in July:
Paula’s Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster – This is a nourishing unscented blend of oils that you can add to anything from face cream, foundation to body cream. I love how it’ll make any finish look “dewy” while alleviating any dry skin symptoms.
- Repurchase? I will in the winter.
Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Lotion – I love Paula’s Choice BHA products. They’ve changed my life. I don’t use it as much now but I use it on nights when I don’t use Retin A.
- Repurchase? I already have. I like the gel-based one too.This one is for dry skin.
Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle 12% Glycolic AHA – Now that I’m using prescription stuff, this HG cream is too much for my skin. However, I love it. It’s also great for feet and elbows. I recommend this to everyone that doesn’t have sensitive or oily skin. Use it once a week. It’ll make a huge difference.
- Repurchase? Maybe but I really can’t use it with my skin right now.
My Beauty Diary Collagen Firming Mask – This is a thicker serum mask with one of those floral aromas that smells so “Japanese skin product” . It’s this first one I’ve used from this Taiwanese brand. It’s really moisturizing and I’d recommend it for dry skin types.
- Repurchase? Sure. Which is good because I have four more of these…
Innisfree It’s Real Lemon Lime Sheet Mask – This one is meant to brighten skin. It smells like a good dish soap. I try to avoid any citrus on my face but who am I kidding? This one probably has the same ingredients as the other sheet masks. My skin was sooo thirsty when I used this that it absorbed every last drop (and this mask was really saturated). Skin looked better the next day but obviously it needed TLC.
- Repurchase? No. I like the others in the line better because of their scents.
The Face Shop Real Nature Sheet Mask in Kelp – This is a really “wet” serum mask. The fit wasn’t great so I had to make some cuts to make it work for me. Even then it didn’t fit that well. The scent is really strong and like an aquatic floral. It’s a familiar scent and I can’t place it. This is driving me nuts. Anyway, the results were OK.
- Repurchase? Probably not.
Etude House I Need You Sheet Mask in Mugwort – This mugwort mask is for troubled skin. It has a fresh scent. My skin was dry and really slurped up the serum. It didn’t fit perfectly but it wasn’t horrible either. The next day my skin looked better.
- Repurchase? If I see it around.
TonyMoly Pureness 100 Sheet Mask in Propolis – This is a thicker cotton sheet mask with a thicker serum. The smell is amazing because it actually smells like honey. The mask is soothing, fits my face pretty well. The next day I had a blemish but I’m 99% certain that it wasn’t this mask but this gross humidity and me walking miles in it (oh, and shit air quality).
- Repurchase? Yes.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment (travel size) – Love this stuff. It’s always around. I like this small size too.
- Repurchase? Always.
Bionova Upper Lip Wrinkles Treatment (deluxe sample, not pictured) – This stuff smells horrible. I kept using it. I didn’t notice anything from it.
- Purchase? No.
Too Cool for School Rules of Skincare Ultra Rich Intensive Cream (sample x2, not pictured) – This was a sample from the Too Cool for School store in Hong Kong. I’ve decided that I really should start using and stop hoarding samples. I really like this thicker, nourishing cream with a subtle aroma. It made my skin feel so soft and smooth.
- Purchase? If I see it around, I will.
Ziaja Saffron 60 Plus Night Cream (sample, not pictured) – I guess this is a cream for folks 60 years and up. Well, I broke the rules and used it anyway! It’s a thick, balm-like cream with a faint floral aroma. I could see this being good for me when my skin gets drier because of its texture. As far as the anti-aging claims, I don’t know. It was just a sample.
- Purchase? Maybe. I was thinking at this price, it’d be a great hand cream too.
- Purchase? No. I liked the Hemp line better with this brand.
Conclusion: To my surprise, I ran out of a lot of full-size products. Sheet masks feel so excellent in the summer heat. Put them in the fridge for a bit, then on your face. Thank me later.
Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa Incense – Every single summer I want my house to smell like nag champa. And this is an easy goal to achieve.
- Repurchase? Hell yeah.
Swagat Lemongrass Incense – I only had a few sticks left. It’s OK. The packaging is the coolest part.
- Repurchase? No.
- Purchase? I really like it but I have so many violets. I can pass.
Escada Pacific Paradise EDT (sample, not pictured) – I can’t deny that I like these super fruity limited edition Escada perfumes. They’re trashy. They’re fun. Pacific Paradise is a super sweet pineapple candy floss.
- Purchase? No. It was fun while it lasted though.
LUSH Tuca Tuca EDP (sample, not pictured) – This is a really weird violet and I like it. I liked it so much that I bought a full-size bottle. Full review here.
- Purchase? Already did that!
Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger EDP (sample, not pictured) – I love this BOLD white floral. That’s why I have a bottle.
- Purchase? Already have.
- Purchase? No. I like it but it’s not love.
Conclusion: I have so many perfume samples around that I really should just use up and enjoy. This is what I’ve been trying to do.
TonyMoly Peach Hand Cream – It’s adorable. It smells like peaches. I bought quite a few of these in Hong Kong because the SA said they were being discontinued this year. And now I’ve noticed that Sephora carries them. So, either they’ve changed their mind or the US is getting old stock. The packaging is somewhere between a nipple, a butt and a peach but that’s why it’s cool.
- Repurchase? I have backups.
Black & White Black Soap – Sometimes you just want an oil-busting soap with a squeaky clean aroma. And you usually want this in July.
- Repurchase? It’s something that I buy every now and then. It’s not great but I have a soft spot for it.
Dalan Bar Soap in Cucumber & Milk – When I first moved here, I was surprised that the stores in New Jersey are stocked with so many Turkish drugstore soap brands. Well, their distributor is in Jersey. This is a commercial bar of soap that smells like commercial soap and cucumber. See above. I wanted something squeaky clean.
- Repurchase? Probably not but I do like many of the other scents.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 30 – This isn’t the best sunscreen around but it does its job. I wanted something that wasn’t greasy and that I could reapply throughout the day. It’s good for that. It’s matte and isn’t sticky. It has a light floral scent.
- Repurchase? Well, it was a BOGO, so I have another.
Innisfree Jeju Fig Hand Cream – Being a fig fragrance lover, I absolutely love the fragrance of the hand cream. It’s like Diptyque Philosykos but with a drier woods. The cream itself is lightweight and good for day use after handwashing.
- Repurchase? Yes, if I see it around.
Bloomsbury Sq. Double-Dip Balm in Mint Rose (travel size, not pictured) – I bought this around the corner of where we live in Jersey City. It was a nice surprise to find a handmade bath and body line in our ‘hood. Anyway, I bought this whipped butter for body and lips. The texture is amazing. I actually use it on my hair too. The scent is like rose mint tea. Or as my sister said, “Sexy Persian boyfriend”. So, yeah.
- Repurchase? Yes, I love a multi-purpose product. I may try a different scent though.
Ziaja Natural Grape Seed Oil Body Lotion (sample, not pictured) – This is a lightweight lotion with a grape-y smell. Too lightweight for my dry skin.
- Purchase? No. I need creams. I need butters.
Conclusion: It’s bar soap season. And I’m at that age where I need hand creams…all the time.
- Repurchase? No. But, that is because I rarely use gel anymore. But, I do like the other products in the line.
Head & Shoulders Old Spice Shampoo – Yeah, I know it’s not a very glamorous product. Since moving to New Jersey, my skin has dealt with some major dryness, including my scalp. This has really helped. And to my surprise, I love the scent. It’s like if Montale interpreted the original Old Spice. It has sharp dry woods and spices. This scent makes the fact that I’m using a dandruff shampoo a little more bearable.
- Repurchase? Yes, if I still need it. Actually, I wish they made non-Head & Shoulders versions of this.
Rene Furterer Volumea Volumizing Shampoo (deluxe sample, not pictured) – I’m trying to use up samples but I’m just not a volumizing shampoo person. I like moisturizing shampoos. The scent is fresh and clean. It rinses out easily but I don’t like how it made my hair feel.
- Purchase? No. Like I said, I rarely like volumizing shampoos.
Roux Anti-Aging Color Protect Shampoo (sample, not pictured) – This has a clean aroma and didn’t leave my hair feeling dry. I was interested in it because it has UV filters.
- Purchase? I don’t know. I think I needed more than a one use sample to decide.
Conclusion: I actually used up full-size hair products. I’m always surprised when this happens.
Maybelline Line Stiletto Liquid Eyeliner in Brownish Black – This is a good Lancôme Artliner dupe. It’s a felt tip liner. Don’t let the shade name fool you. It’s really just brown. I like it because the applicator is good and the formula doesn’t flake. I do feel like I use it up rather quickly though. Like really, I used this up in a month and then was in denial over it and kept it around.
- Repurchase? I guess. If I don’t get distracted by something else.
Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in Mimosa – If you are a pale person like me or if you are terrified of looking like a clown when wearing blush, you need to try this. It’s a sheer, matte blush in the prettiest peachy pink shade. It’s one of those blushes that I wear on most days because I can’t mess it up. It really does look natural with my complexion. You can see me wearing it here.
- Repurchase? Yes. And I have so many blushes but this is the one I’m apparently using. And it lasts a really long time.
Essence Get BIG! Lashes Mascara in Triple Black – So, I usually have excellent luck with Essence mascaras but I found this one would clump without some extra work. I had to use a lash comb or wipe off excess product. The final result looked good (lots of volume) and the product doesn’t flake. However, there’s less work for me with other mascaras from Essence. I don’t hate this one and the price is great, but I like the brushes of the other ones better.
- Repurchase? No. It’s a good formula but the brush isn’t the best for my needs.
NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel – I’m a fan of the Anastasia Beverly Hills one but thought it was simple enough to replace. So, I bought this one. It’s not bad but it’s not as good as Anastasia Beverly Hills. I actually found it to not have a good finish or actually hold all that well. I’m too much of a control freak for it.
- Repurchase? No.
Pür Minerals Correcting Primer in Prep & Perfect (sample, not pictured) – This is a thicker ‘cone based primer that will “ball up” if too much is used. If you use a little, it will leave a nice smooth finish.
- Purchase? No. It’s OK but nowadays you can get primers with SPF, antioxidants and a lot of other added features.
Conclusion: Look at me using up all these full-size makeup products. I mean, I used up a blush. I deserve an award for that.
Total – 36. 21 full size. 4 deluxe/travel size. 11 samples.
That’s a big number but a lot of these were samples and sheet masks…and me using up boxes of incense that had like 4 sticks each.
What about you? Which products did you empty in July? Did you buy anything new? Throw anything out?
I’m challenging myself to an August no-buy which is already difficult because all these fall color collections are hitting the market. Ugh. BUT, I’m for sure going to continue trying all the samples I’ve unintentionally hoarded over the past year.
*Paula’s Choice, Amazon, Beauty.com, Memebox, Perfume.com, Fragrancenet, . Also, with the Korean stuff, I’ve bought from Pretty & Cute and Memebox before.