Friday, April 12, 2013

Products we used up in February and March

Whoops! I fell behind and missed my February use it up post. Now we're halfway through April... oh well. First, here are the products I used up in February (Boyfriend didn't finish off any, that slacker!). Sorry for the black background; I thought it would be an improvement, but in retrospect... nope.

Kerastase Bain Chroma Riche shampoo: an excellent shampoo I've been using on and off for about 8 years. It's one of my favorites; I just don't use it exclusively because I sometimes get bored using the same products over and over, and also because it's very expensive. But if you're looking for a great shampoo for color-treated or regular hair, I highly recommend it. (I haven't colored my hair in years, but I still like to use shampoos for color-treated hair as I find most are more gentle than the average shampoo.) It smells great, cleans my hair thoroughly without leaving it dry or stripping it so it gets oilier, and my hair is consistently shiny, soft, and smooth when I use it. It also pairs very well with the Chroma Riche conditioning mask, reviewed here.

Frederic Fekkai Technician Color Care 3-Minute Mask: this is another product I first purchased several years ago, used up, and then didn't repurchase again until recently. I find it extremely hydrating and conditioning. It does weigh down my hair just a little bit, but not enough to make it limp; I'm not sure anyone else would notice it but me. Regardless, my hair feels like silk when I use this, and it also smells wonderful. I've been testing out another hair mask recently I don't like as much; I may end up returning it and repurchasing either the Chroma Riche mask or this one, as I have yet to find anything I like as much as either of them. (I'd also be open to any other recommendations you might have for hair masks/deep conditioning treatments you love!)

Neutrogena Night Calming Makeup Removing Wipes: reviewed here.

Source Naturals Skin Eternal Hyaluronic Acid supplement: reviewed here.

Hourglass Film Noir mascara: reviewed here. The sticker you see on it is a lovely idea someone gave me to help me keep track of how long my mascara's been open. I know some of you might disagree that this is necessary, but I do like to toss my mascaras after three months of use. It's true that probably 99% of the time the bacteria that can grow in a mascara won't hurt you, but that other 1% of the time or so, it's not and it can can cause corneal infections which can cause irreparable damage to the eye. I value my eyes and my sight, and don't think it's worth the risk. So anyway! Now I put a little sticker on my mascaras the day I open them, like the stickers you use to mark items at a garage sale. I mark the date I opened it and the date it expires, three months out. Then, around the time I hit the "expiration date," I retire it, open a new mascara, and label the new one. Yay!

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum: reviewed here.

Softsoap Heavenly Vanilla Body Hydrating Wash: reviewed here.

And here are the products we used up in March!

Shiseido Facial Cotton: reviewed here.

Source Naturals Skin Eternal Hyaluronic Acid supplement: reviewed here. (Boyfriend started taking it too, and since we each take two a day, one bottle lasts us about a month.)

Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Underground: perhaps my all-time favorite eyeliner, reviewed over four years ago here. I say "perhaps" because I think it's tied with MAC Blacktrack, which I've used daily for years for tightlining and sometimes lining my lash line. If I'm only considering colored liners, though, Underground is my #1. The 24/7 formula works very well on me, and Underground is the perfect effortless, neutral liner for defining the upper or lower lash line on me. It's always flattering, and has been a go-to product for me for years. I usually have 3 open at once (one at home, one at work, and one in my purse) and right now, one of the other two is also almost used up as well.

My only complaint is that it does tend to dry out slightly as you get toward the very end of the pencil. It's odd, though; it doesn't tug on my eyelids, but the "gel" inside the wooden/plastic (whatever that is) part of the pencil just detaches itself and falls right out, a thin little cylinder of pure eyeliner with nothing holding it. I would have continued trying to use this one until it was physically impossible to sharpen if it hadn't done that!

Guerlain Meteorites Voyage pressed powder refill pan: I'm glad Guerlain sells refills for this, because the compact itself is $170! This was my second pan of this I've used up (my first refill), and I've already replaced it with a new refill pan in my compact. I didn't want to let any of it go to waste, so when it was about 90% gone and I couldn't use it in the compact anymore, I scraped out the powder into a powder jar, crushed it up, and used it as a loose powder.

This is one of those powders that I think of as a luxury to own - I could live without it, but I love it so much that when I try to put it away to use up my other powders I always end up coming back to it after a while. The formula is elegant and the balance of the colors in the pan blended together is perfect on my pale skin, brightening and smoothing without adding visible glitter. The only problem I have with it is that it hardens more quickly than most other powders I've tried in response to the oils from skin and/or foundation being transferred via a brush. I've been able to combat this somewhat by using only clean, freshly-washed powder brushes with it, but even then sometimes the surface can get that telltale, slightly "shiny" look just by the end of one application. So then I take Scotch tape, press it into the surface, and it's ready to use again. I think this wouldn't happen if I only used it on bare skin or allowed my foundation to FULLY dry before applying, but who has time for that? Anyway, it might sound like I'm complaining a lot, but I really do like this powder. I just wish it wasn't so... finicky.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio shower gel: Boyfriend has a few Acqua di Gio products and got this in a set. He likes the scent, which he says complements the Acqua di Gio cologne nicely but doesn't smell just like it. He did notice that it left his skin a little dry and he wishes the scent would linger longer, as he can't smell it anymore after toweling off and he expects better from a shower gel with the name of a cologne on it. Regardless, he likes this one because it makes him feel sexy.

Liz Claiborne Curve for Men shower gel: This is Boyfriend's other favorite scent, and my favorite on him in the colder months of the year. He also got this in a set (along with a bottle of the cologne that rivals a pint of milk in size). He says this one leaves a residue on the skin that he thinks is responsible for its scent lasting longer after the shower, but he still feels clean afterward; it's not a grimy residue. The scent, he says, is similar to the Curve cologne, but the shower gel has a fresher scent, while the cologne leans more spicy and sweet. He hated the packaging, because the opening was so small he had to squeeze the tube really hard to get anything out of it. He says he'd repurchase, though.

Qtica Cool Refreshing shower gel: I got this as a GWP in a large Zoya order a while back. Boyfriend and I both used and liked it. It's got a strong, pure mint scent that's great for super-sleepy mornings when you're struggling to wake up, or in the summertime when it's sweltering outside and you'll do anything to cool down. It does offer a slightly cooling, tingling sensation, but it's mild, not enough to do any harm to the parts of my body with more sensitive skin. It doesn't leave a residue behind and offers the fun side effect of making you feel REALLY clean after using it due to the "fresh breath" scent. I'm not sure if I'd go out of my way to buy another or not, but I'd certainly accept and use it as a GWP/freebie again!

Olay Quench body wash: I went through a short "extreme couponing" type of phase last year, during which time I got this for free from Walgreens. (I think I bought some Venus razor blade cartridges, which I got for about 25% retail price, and then I had a coupon for a free Olay body wash when you buy the Venus refills I was able to use at the same time.) Anyway, it took forever to use up even with Boyfriend and I both using it because it's HUGE. This is another product I'd probably use again if it were free but wouldn't go out of my way to buy. I liked it; it felt good on my skin, and had a scent that made me feel clean, sort of how the scent of fresh cotton makes you feel. I wouldn't say it was anything absolutely exceptional, though.

Hopefully I'll be more on the ball next month and you'll see my April "use it up" post in just a few weeks...


  1. That mascara idea is so clever! I write the opening date in a little list in my diary, but then I forget and it all goes wrong :P Wil have to try that in future! xxx

    1. Thanks! I wish I could take credit for it, haha, but I got the idea from someone else. I only wish I could remember who it was so I could credit THEM properly! It works very well for me since it's right there on the tube... I see it every day so I can't miss it or forget!

    2. You need to track them down so we can all thank them :D Exactly, and you can't forget where you've written it down! x

  2. Hi Kristina-Really enjoy your blog! Do you shop at Sally Beauty Supply? I really like Beyond the Zone 'Last Call Hair Masque' that they carry. Also-Neutrogena Triple Moisture Mask (can find this at Target/drugstore).

    1. Hi Michelle, thanks for the recommendations! I do shop at Sally's sometimes, yes. I think I tried the Neutrogena one over five years ago because it sounds familiar, but I don't remember what I thought of it! I guess I'll have to try it and/or the other one you suggested soon. Both are much cheaper than my two favorites so far (the Kerastase and the Fekkai), so I suppose it's worth continuing the search in hopes of finding another I like as much that costs less!

  3. Hi again Kristina-I forgot Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisture Deep Conditioning Treatment. If you go to Sally's ask about other hair masks-I know they have several that are in 'sample' packets--great to try w/out spending much $$ and you don't have to return them if you don't like them. I get most of my hair products at Sally's. I have tried some expensive brands and have found I like the products at Sally's better and way less $$$!!!

    1. Ooh, I like the idea of just trying sample packets! Thanks :)


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