Well hello folks! That time of the month again. I know I'm almost a month late on this one. Better late than never... right? :)
To say this month flew by is an understatement. I'm pretty sure I said that every month but December really took off and now we are half way through the first month of 2013!
Simultaneously with this post, I'm working on a 2012 wrap up post, 2012 favorites post and of course the new year Beauty Resolutions! Yay! Which are pretty much the same as last year. Work out more and stop buying makeup! Still editing though....
I started to run out of things in November and December and boy did I make up for it. Dang Friends and Family sales! But that's what we save all year for right? :) I have a few hauls and a ton of reviews lined up. I'm looking over my list and I have enough material for a few months. :)
So let's get started...
December empties. Ended with a bang. For realz.
1. Gillette Venus & Olay razors: I've reviewed/talked about these a ton. Along with the Schick Naturals, these razors are my favorite/go to that I know will be moisturizing enough and will not cause the dreaded razor burn. If I use any other razor besides what my husband uses on his face, I will get awful razor burn. I can't fool around in the shaving department.
2. Simply Saline Sterile Saline Nasal Mist: I thought I would throw this in here. Beauty related? Umm yes?! So winter is here, well for most, but here in the South we are enjoying record highs, 78 degrees, 83 over the weekend! It's just gorgeous. But December did bring with it cold dry air. Saline mist for your nose is your friend. It's moisturizing for one but also it clears out dust, pollen and dirt and clears congestion. I'm a nurse and a mother of 3. My exposure to illness and germs on a daily basis is very high. I use this saline mist on the daily to clean out my nasal passages so that I am not inhaling those particles deep into my lungs exposing myself to those germs. And it works. This combined with Emergen-C, keeps me from getting sick. Seriously. Along with diet, exercise and sleep of course... But I don't ever get sick. Ever... (knocking on wood right now!)
3. Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Deep Moisture Body Wash: My skin was drying out from the cold air last month and I needed to pick this up to see if it would help. I'm pretty sure it did. My legs are especially dry right now that I haven't been using any body wash and lotion isn't cutting it. It smells fresh and clean. This body wash has a nice creamy lather too. It has a lot of "bad" chemicals in it though. I would prefer something more natural but this was at the commissary and I had a coupon. :)
4. L'OREAL Visible Lift Line-Minimizing & Tone Enhancing Under Eye Concealer 190 Fair: This is a perfect example of the perils of hoarding makeup. Good products go bad when you are distracted by other products! I grabbed this last year during one of the CVS semi-annual clearances for probably pennies. Loved it but then got caught up in using other concealers and products. By the time I got back to this one it only had a month of goodness left. It was working great for a few weeks and then it started creasing and I assume it is just expired. But I loved it for the last few weeks of 2012! Good coverage, blends in really well. 20 spf. I did use up pretty much the entire tube. I believe the packaging has changed on this one and maybe the name as well but it's a good one!
5. L'OREAL Preference Mega Browns: I've been coloring my hair in Chocolate every 3 weeks for a couple of months now and it is working out beautifully. 3 weeks is the longest I can go. The color starts to fade out and my root growth gets a bit crazy. By 4 weeks I have a half inch of growth and I've gone too far. I just use one bottle for my roots and brush it down to my ends and I'm good to go. It's super messy though. Probably because of the dark color but it's all over my walls and base boards. This last time I was on my hands and knees wiping off everything and I still have splatter marks everywhere! But $150 in the salon or $10 at home... I like the $140 savings thank you very much.
6. Dove Soap: Yup went through 2 bars in December. I love Dove. Used it since I was a kid. Probably will forever. I can use it on my face in a pinch. I have an amazing cleanser that I am using currently though... Review coming up soon!
7. Aussie 3 minute miracle: I will always have this in the shower. It's essential for when your hair isn't responding to the oils, creams, tonics, lotions and other conditioners in your shower. It's stressed, tired and dried out, it needs a miracle. This product will get your hair back. This product is in the same category as Pantene. Pantene always works with my hair. Sure it's not the best. It coats your hair, yada, yada, yada but it will always leave my hair soft, silky and smelling great. I leave it on longer than 3 minutes. I figure the longer the better. Also the packaging is A+. A lot of deep conditioners you have to reach your hands into a tub, it gets under the nails, water from the shower runs down your arms and fingers into the tub and it's just a mess. This is a squeeze bottle. Perfection.
8. Pure White Tarter Control Pre-Whitening Rinse: this is a part of a teeth whitening set. I really liked the way it made my teeth feel after brushing so even though the 5 minute whitening gel makes me gag something fierce, I still used this up. The gel does whiten but those strips are just so much more convenient and I have less of a drool-mess fest. I will review this separately. So look for that in the near future!
9. Colgate Total Advanced: Not a bad toothpaste but nothing whitening about it. Just documenting that I finished it up! :) I still buy it though. lol
10. St. Ives Naturally Clear Apricot Scrub Blemish and Blackhead Control: This is one of those iconic super products from my youth. One that you can trust will deliver results. It has changed a bit. The smell is much different and the scrubbing beads are smaller but it still works. If you are having a bad skin day or week, whip this baby out and all will get better. Works for me. But I think it worked much better back in the day. Does it instantly clear out all your blackheads? No, but it does help. This was a free Facebook sample by the way. Love freebies.
11. & 12. Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy shampoo and conditioner: I already reviewed or mini reviewed this product and touted it's ability to stop hair from falling out. No really it did. I was going through this shedding cycle and it was getting scary. I received these two travel size bottles in a beauty blogger swap. It's a good idea to keep a bottle of at least the shampoo in your shower to use from time to time. A healthy scalp is essential for healthy hair. Period. Well along with good food, hydration and exercise...
13. Bath and Body Works Black Pepper Bergamot: Hands down my favorite scent of all time except Sensual Amber beats it out for #1 by a hair. I mean, it's that close but I loved burning this candle in November and December. I should stop by The Works and see if they are clearanced out!
14. L'OREAL 20 Volume Developer: Goes with the L'OREAL Mega Browns color. I'm not a professional hair stylist but this developer works well for me!
15. Nuance Raw Honey Color Protect Shampoo and Conditioner foil packet samples: I really can't review this based off of a sample but the feel and smell of my hair after using this left me intrigued. It's made with Wheat and Soy protein and Shea Butter, paraben free, sulfate free and not tested on animals. As I smell the used packets right now, it has a "Sensual Amber" and "Black Pepper Bergamot" smell to it. No seriously, it must be made exclusively for me. I'm running out to CVS to grab a set so I can really test them out.
16. Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray: I fly through these sample bottles. I am using a full size at the moment. I really like this stuff. It does help control the oil though it's not perfect. I'm still looking for the perfect product or combination of products for my oil slick. I did have one day of dry skin. It was Thanksgiving morning and I was applying my makeup and I had to start all over again. It was awful. So I think I do prefer my oily skin to that dry, flaky mess I had that morning. I think...
17. L'OREAL EverCreme Sulfate Free Deep Nourishing Masque: This is a good alternative to Aussie 3 minute miracle if you wanted to stay away from sulfates. I really like this one too. This was my first time trying it out. I have used the EverCreme line before as you know. I'm sure I will pick up a full size in the future.
18. Philosophy Microdelivery Peel: I will have a full review on this one. I really need to pick up another.
19. & 20. AVON Makeup Remover Wipes: Hands down my favorite remover wipes to date and I have tried them all. They are quite pricey when not on sale, I think $7.99. That's probably about average though. A lot of wipes are priced between $5.99 and $10.99. I just ordered 4 at $3.99 and they are back ordered at the moment. So I'm not the only one that loves them. They have the perfect moisture content, the perfect thickness and they perfectly remove makeup. I will do a separate review.
21. Cotton jumbo sized balls: lol What's not to love about cotton balls. I go back and forth with cotton rounds and balls. Rounds tend to disintegrate when I wipe them on my eyes and face which Is really annoying. Cotton balls work well. These are from Walmart and relatively inexpensive.
22. Fekkai Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner: Fekkai is one of those untouchable brands for me. Just way outside my comfortable price zone for shampoo. If I got it on sale I would do it for sure. These shampoo is very concentrated. I should have used only half the packet and since I overzealously squeezed out the entire thing into my hand, it was too late. lol It has a nice scent, lathered well. It's a nice product.
23. Oral B Glide Pro-Health Floss. This seems to be the only brand of floss that I will buy. If I'm couponing, which I still have a ton of floss to use up from 2011, I will get what I can. But this is a floss I know isn't going to hurt and tear up my gums. Good stuff. And minty too. Yum!
24. Pantene Medium Thick Hair Solutions: Speaking of Pantene... I haven't been keeping up with all the latest incarnations of Pantene. I mean, there are dozens. I swear the different formulations and flavors take up a quarter of the drugstore shampoo aisle. But this one has that Pantene smell and feel. It's nice just to have a bottle or a travel size portion to fall back on every once in a while. Your hair will thank you.
25. GlamGlow Tingling & Exfoliating Mud Mask: So yeah, I bought this teeny, tiny tub of mud for $25 plus shipping from Hautelook. So $30? Tingling yes, exfoliating, if they say so. I expected some kind of miracle for that money. There is like 3 uses, maybe 4 in that thing. To say that something is going to take care of fine lines, pores, sun damage, age spot, increase elasticity... Those are huge claims... I will admit it tingled, more like burned but my skin wasn't irritated by this. It did feel smoother. It did suck some oil out of my pores but in doing so the rebound oil I would get the next day after this was unreal. I just don't get the hype. Maybe if it was a larger size and I could of used it more consistently. I get better results with the Shea Terra Black Soap. Which I haven't used in a while. I need to do that tonight.
26. TRESemme Split Remedy: I thought I liked this. I definitely liked the shampoo but after using this conditioner for 2 days, I couldn't get a brush through my hair. It left it filmy or something. It felt good in the shower but it just leaves the hair feeling gross. Stay away from this.
27. Neosporin Lip Health Overnight Renewal Therapy: I swear by this. Plumps and moisturizer the lips overnight. Keep it at your night table/bed stand, you won't regret it. It's tasteless, virtually odorless. Even my husband will use it.
28. Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Shampoo and Conditioner: Was my hair sleek and shiny after using this? Yes. Did it stay for 3 days? Not my oily hair. I can go one day without washing my hair. My hair is already pin straight. But it has a nice scent and left my hair soft but I wouldn't be able to go 3 days without washing again with any shampoo/conditioner.
29. Atopalm Intensive Moisturizing Cream: I have one more sample of this. I love it for my hands. It would be too intense for my face but it's perfect for my dry hands!
30: Freeman Vita-K Professionals Age Spots: This wasn't a miracle cure but I used this on my heavily freckled shoulders. I think it did a good job of fading most of the small ones and lightening the larger ones as well. I'm very happy with this product. I received it in a Beauty Army Box.
31. Freeman Vita-K Professional Spider Veins: I have a couple areas of spider veining. One I have had since I was a teenager and others that have sprung up during pregnancies. They don't really bother me. However, I did see some slight improvement. Since I have finished the bottle, the areas have stayed the same so they didn't worsen. I think that I should pick up another bottle and see what happens!
32. Gillette Satin Care with Olay: I always pick this one up. The packaging is gold and it stands out so I know to grab it and it's the cheapest on the shelf at the commissary. What's not to love about that! I will continue to purchase.
33. Yuko Anti-Frizz Restore and Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner: I forgot all about this!!! So glad I throw all my empties in a brown paper bag. lol This made my hair noticeably soft, smooth, hydrated and I went an extra day without washing. I even mentioned it to my husband. I told him I didn't care how much it cost, I needed it. He agreed with me. I was hoping that I got this sample from Birchbox but I'm not sure where it is from. Amazon has it between $17-22. I knew it had to be expensive!
34. NuMe Hydro Punch Hydrating Shampoo: This stuff is no joke. Almost too moisturizing for my hair on the daily but perfect before and after a color. It has that same Sensual Amber, L'OREAL Ever Crème Cleansing Conditioner and now that Nuance Shampoo that I'm going to run out and get smell... Love it.
35. & 36. Maybelline Falsies and Maybelline Illegal Lengths Mascaras: I bought this combo for my sister's wedding back in June, well a month before in May. This is a lethal lash combo. I found out about it from Melissa YouTube's 30plussome. She is hilarious by the way. So I grabbed these two on her recommendation and I will be repurchasing the both of them after I finish a couple of samples.
37. Benefit Stay Don't Stray: I've had this for over a year. Actually probably 2! Yikes. This tiny sample of eye shadow primer and that's the only reason I'm discarding it. I believe there is still enough to keep using it but since I have other primers and this one is really old, it's time to pitch before I develop a nasty pink eye. :) I still can't figure out what is my fave primer. It's a toss up between Too Faced Shadow Insurance, this one and of course Urban Decay. They all seem to work equally well on my oily lids. I will still crease with anything... of course...
38. John Frieda Full Repair Deep Infusion: I really couldn't wait to finish this off. Not that it wasn't good, just that it lasted so long and I wanted to try something else! I have a ton of oils to get through. I used this exclusively for my ends. It works great as a hydrator. As a split end fixer or preventer, I'm not so sure. Nothing magically repairs split ends like a good hair trim. Seriously... But this one is non-greasy and absorbs well.
39... And a few other foil packet samples. Nuance lotions. Good stuff. Nothing to write home about but I've tried a few products of the line and I like them. Like them even better during a good sale of course. Oh and Bb Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner. I don't need anything thickening for my hair type but I do appreciate a quality shampoo and conditioner. After using this, I'm kicking myself for passing up not once but 2 times during a Walgreens trip where Bb Cocoa shampoo and conditioner that were on clearance for $7 a piece this past summer. Well for one, I had no business buying shampoo and secondly, I wasn't supposed to be in a drugstore per my New Year's Resolution. But I still think back that deal I passed up... :)
40. Schick Hydro Silk Razor: Looks good, felt good but razor burn ensued. I kept using it too until I finally went out and bought the Gillette. I know... silly. Waste not want not though. I was on a mission to clean out my bathroom cabinets in 2012. Which you will find out soon enough how I did!
So I know you are dying to know how well I did this year using up my stock pile and emptying my cabinets... All in due time!