Another month flies by and I’m left with more empties! In November, I tried to tackle all the nice samples that I’m apparently hoarding for no good reason. And being that it’s winter, I’ve been burning a fancy candle every evening for ambiance and well, because I have them. Also, the weather has been freezing and my skin has been exceptionally dry. I can’t find a skincare routine that works for me right now.
First off, here’s what I bought this month: a rose face cream, a bunch of Korean skincare products, Sonia Kashuk Contour Stick and a matching shampoo and conditioner. Did I need any of it? Well, I needed the skincare, the other stuff was impulse buys.
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense Moisturizer (sample) – This is a lightweight daily moisturizer with SPF 30. It’s like a liquid and it dries matte. I have used full-size bottles of this but thought I should use the samples up.
- Purchase? In the past, I’ve purchase this. However, for this time of the year, I need much more moisture than this can provide. Good choice for oily/combo skin. But, not a good choice for me.
Reviva Labs Vitamin E Oil Stick w/SPF 15 – This is an oily stick moisturizer than you can use around the eyes or on lips. I use it as a lip balm and it’s one of the few with SPF that doesn’t irritate my sensitive lips. I also like the “slick” texture. I’ve never used it around my eyes.
- Repurchase? Yes.
- Repurchase? I guess. Like I said in my review. I liked it in the summer but it doesn’t provide enough moisture in the winter.
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Recovery Complex II (deluxe sample) – Such good stuff!
- Purchase? Yes. I alternate with this one and one by Paula’s Choice.
Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate (deluxe sample and sample) – First off, this did not infuse me with power and I’m disappointed! Next, this is basically just perfumed alcohol that you put on under your moisturizer. I think it actually dried me out. Actually, I’m certain that it did because when I stopped using it, my skin felt better.
- Purchase? Nope. It’s not for my dry skin at all.
Epielle Facial Essence Mask with Collagen & Vitamin E – So, this is a brand of Korean sheet masks for the American “discount” market that retail for really cheap at discount stores. I guess they show up at Big Lots and other places. One late evening at Grocery Outlet when I went there in a desperate attempt for dishwashing detergent, I was shocked to see Korean skincare. And I had to buy them. I think it was 50¢. Apparently, these have an online cult-following. Well, I’m not impressed at all. The sheet is too thick. The sheet’s shape doesn’t work with my face shape. And there isn’t enough serum on this. I can spend $1 and get much better brands at Korean markets. It’s not horrible but if I have to sit around with something on my face for 30 minutes, I want it to be comfortable. I’ve tried a lot of brands and this one has been my least favorite.
- Repurchase? No.
Pure Smile Choosy Gel Lip Pack in White Pearl – I was sick with a cold and my lips were chapped from mouth-breathing. This is a “weird” Japanese product that was in a Memebox. It’s a large silicon/gel feeling lip mask. It’s coated in a serum and you leave it on up to 30 minutes. David really liked this as it made me shut up for that long. It’s bizarre looking on. It’s an extra-large pearly white lip shaped thing stuck to the bottom part of my face. It has a “cool” (but not tingling) feel. It does smooth lips and temporarily got rid of fine lines.
- Repurchase? Probably not. I swear I need to just buy these and wear them when I start feeling hungry at 10 PM. It’s my new diet strategy 😉 This is a novelty item. I get the same results with a scrub and layers of Aquaphor…
Fil-Lup White Essence Mask – I had such a great experience with the Charcoal mask from this line, that I picked up the other varieties. This is one of those masks with a super thick serum. It has a clean, soapy aroma. Immediately it left my skin feeling moisturized and dewy.
- Repurchase? Yes. It’s cheap and makes my skin feel good.
3W Clinic Green Tea Sheet Mask – I picked up a few of these at an Asian skincare store for cheap. This is the green tea one, a soothing antioxidant mask for all skin types. It is a thicker sheet soaked with a lot of serum. It has a pleasant green tea aroma. Also, it’s Samsung branded. The more you know…
- Repurchase? Yes. However, it isn’t as moisturizing as others that I tried. May be a good one for summer.
Conclusion: My skin has been really dry this month. I’ve had to switch over to new products like creams and cream masks. I need a good moisturizing serum too. Why is it as soon as you figure out your skincare routine then the weather changes?
Linnea Lights Soy Candle in Amber (votive) – It’s a nice benzoin-y amber. Full review.
- Purchase? No. And it’s not the candle, it’s that I’m a home fragrance flirt. I want to try something different.
Malin & Goetz Tobacco Candle – I love this sweet and smoky tobacco scent.
- Repurchase? Yes. This is one of the few candles that I always want around.
Votivo French Collection Candle in Rosemary Grapefruit – It smells like the name implies. This is one of those neutral scents that goes with everything, which was surprisingly nice for Thanksgiving. Full review.
- Purchase? No. I do like it but I can think of other candles I want to try.cabinent
- Purchase? No. Even though I really like it, it’s a chypre. I rarely wear those.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Ciel de Gum EDP (decant, not pictured) – This spicy floral is a Russian exclusive. Full review.
- Repurchase? No. But, that’s only because it’s hard to find in the US and it’s super expensive. And I can’t justify the hassle or the price.
Conclusion: I’m fairly certain that I have some sort of candle addiction. And yes, I’m outing myself right now. I just love candles so much. My goal is to get down to only owning five candles…so I’m not allowed to buy any unless I’m down to four…then I can buy one! As of now, I have a cabinet where I store the candles in the box or tin. It’s like I have a cabinet for candle storage. You can scold me now. I probably deserve it.
Bath & Body
B&BW Hand Sanitizer in Honolulu Sun – It smells like coconut tanning lotion which I don’t know if I like that or not. I just wanted to kill all the bus people germs.
- Repurchase? Probably not.
Ziaja Goat’s Milk Body Lotion (sample, not pictured) – I made my first ever Ziaja order ever and they were awesome enough to include samples of basically every product they make. And that’s awesome because I’ve never tried anything from this Polish line before! This is a lightweight yet moisturizing body lotion. It has a clean lily/musk fragrance that reminds me of Ivory soap bar meets Dove Beauty Bar. I wore this and wanted to layer it with Avon Sweet Honesty…
- Purchase? Maybe. They have a body butter and body balm in this range and I want to try those before deciding. And for some reason I’m really craving this squeaky clean functional fragrance. I feel like such a rebel using this after using all my natural hippie soaps. <insert evil laughter here>.
Korean Honey Chestnut Exfoliation Soap – I love this stuff. I’ve been using it for years. I love the feel and the subtle sweet and nutty aroma.
- Repurchase? Yes. It’s one of my favorite soaps.
I also used up two handmade bar soaps from a farmer’s market. One was patchouli and the other was licorice.
Conclusion: Why does it take me forever to use lotions when I use them 2x a day???
Sexy Hair Silky Sexy Hair Control Crème – Being that I’ve had a bob for years, it takes me forever to use up haircare products. Take this one for instance, it’s been discontinued. It’s a creme for course/thick hair. It has like a floral/green apple scent. It did work. No frizzies with this stuff. It’s also lighter weight than most of the oils that I use so I could get more body when I used this.
- Repurchase? No. The line has been discontinued. It’s time for me to move on.
Conclusion: Short hair doesn’t use up much product, so I have enough styling products to last a long time. Next, I need to lay off the buying of shampoo and conditioners. My shower is getting too crowded.
NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Mauve – This is a lovely mauve lip liner that goes with a lot of lippies that I own. It’s really good, especially for the price.
- Repurchase? Yes.
- Repurchase? Maybe. I liked it but I also like to try new mascaras.
Maja Compact Cream Powder in Morisca – Well, I’m out of my stock of this. I buy this anytime I’m in an area that sells it (L.A., NYC, San Juan, etc.). I love the finish and the fragrance.
- Repurchase? Yes. It’s something I pick up when I see it. I refuse to order it because I like that it still feels “special”.
Benefit Stay Don’t Stray in Light/Medium (sample, not pictured) – I don’t really have any issue with oily lids but I like to use primers for eyeshadows. Tinted ones to help with discolorations, etc. This one is really pigmented. I guess it’s a concealer too. However, it was so dry on my lids that I didn’t’ want to use it under my eyes (which were already dry this month). I guess it’s OK to use, depends on your needs.
- Purchase? No. I like Urban Decay better. Heck, I like e.l.f. better.
Conclusion: When I use up makeup products, I’m so proud of myself. And don’t act like you don’t get that feeling when you do the same 🙂
Total – 25. 15 full-size, 5 travel/deluxe, 5 sample. Obviously this number is skewed by the amount of samples, travel sizes and single use items I used this month.
Oh, and I threw out a few color cosmetics. I had two Clinique lipsticks that didn’t smell “right” and a Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow had dried up 🙁
What about you? Which products did you use up in November? Did you purchase anything in November? Did you throw out anything?