Tag Archives: andalou naturals

De-stash & Trash – September 2015

I’ve been up to a whole bunch over the past few months! My job’s busy season, acclimating to two new bosses, helping my brother move, lots of extra traveling. Frankly, I’m a bit pooped!

I have finished up some interesting things in the meantime, though!

I finished and purged several mascaras last month.

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Obviously, not enough to fill a whole collage.

Right-to-left, first off, there’s Mirenesse’s Secret Weapon. I enjoyed the fancy-pants packaging. It had a Christmas tree-shaped natural brush. I liked that it didn’t smudge on me, which is a problem I have with most mascaras. It gave me some good volume as well. I would definitely try this out again!

Next up is Smashbox’s Full Exposure. I got this at a CCO a year ago. It was way too wet at first, so I let it dry out a little. And then it was too dry. I think it was more my timing rather than the formula itself, but it was too wet for my taste right off.

Then there’s the trusty Clump Crusher. I was using it mostly to separate lashes after using another mascara.

Ulta’s Raincoat is a topper that makes regular mascaras waterproof. I can’t speak to the true waterproofiness (which is totally a word!) but it keeps some of my favorites from smudging under my eyes.

I loved Eyeko’s Sport waterproof. Until I tried to remove it. This stuff is bulletproof! It also has fibers, however, which are not so bulletproof. After wearing it the first few times, those fibers dusted off into and under my eyes causing a fair bit of discomfort. Not for contact lens wearers!

I used up a sample tube of my current fave, Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes. It makes my lashes thick and fluttery. It transfers like a mother, though, so I always use it with the Raincoat.

And, finally, I tried out Julep’s volumizing mascara. I’m a Maven, so I do get discounts on their stuff from time to time. I haven’t had much luck with their makeup so far. This was thick and wet simultaneously. It just didn’t work for me.

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I finished up a sample of the Marc Jacobs gel eye crayon in Blacquer. I liked this so much that I sprung for the holiday collection. It’s a dry formula, but once I got it on my watery allergy eyes, it went nowhere. I can even tightline with it.

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I used up some peripheral makeup stuff. I use a disinfecting wipe on my brushes and to clean up my hands, etc afterward. The brand really doesn’t matter much.

I bought the Smashbox primer water right after it came out. And promptly regretted it. My skin didn’t like it as a primer. There wasn’t enough moisture involved. I used it, primarily, as a setting spray but I found that it smelled exactly like a hospital hallway. I didn’t appreciate that at all.

I used up a pack of Simple wipes and a couple of bottles of the micellar water, both of which I love and hoard.

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I finished up a few serums. I tend to layer them, thinnest to thickest. There’s usually a vitamin c serum, a hydrating serum, and I rotate out the third depending on need. Garden Girl’s Superhero Serum is one of the latter. It is jam packed full of good stuff and my skin seems to like it. It smells a little bit like Flonase, though, as Janie-cat can attest to!

I also used a sample of the SKII essence cream. It’s not watery like the essence itself and it contains silicone which I try to avoid in my night products. So I used it as a primer and enjoyed it that way.

Mad Hippie has been my vitamin c serum of choice lately. Over time, my skin has been getting used to the serums I had been using, and this one is just the right strength. It gives me the slight flush of a product that’s doing something without burning the crap out of my skin. (Avalon Organics, I’m looking at your toner.)

The last serum I finished was the Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion. It had a slightly oily consistency, but absorbed right away. I had some flaking for a week at first, but that eventually stopped.

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I finished off a sleeping mask. This saved my skin last winter, and I found that it’s light enough to use in the summer as well. It’s rather expensive, but it lasted almost 9 months.

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I was really sad about this one because I love Garden Girl products. I bought it back in the spring and noticed a difference in my undereyes right away. That never happens. As the summer progressed, I began having trouble with puffiness, itchiness, and dryness. I narrowed it down to to the eye cream. I think the reaction seemed to happen when I was in the sun more than usual. (Yes, I was SPFing.)

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I finished up some nail and hand care stuff, too. First off, is my most-used, most-loved stamping polish. I have never found a white to work as well as Konad’s. I cracked into my backup and will be stalking the site for a sale to replenish.

I used the last of Zoya’s Remove +. It’s expensive. I know. I don’t use it for anything other than to remove glitter polish. I don’t know what it is about the formula, but it works better than straight-up acetone for glitter for me.

I used the last of a Tony Moly peach hand cream that I got in a Beauteque bag. It smelled divine, but it felt a bit sticky.

I let go of a pump dispenser that stopped working, as well as a bottle of scented top coat that I had been using to swatch with.

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And finally, I’ve decided to let go of a couple of shampoo/conditioner sets. I have thigh-length wavy, fine, dry, easily tangled hair. I also avoid silicones. The Andalou Naturals smelled lovely, but didn’t provide enough hydration.

On the other hands, I loved what the Shea Moisture did for my hair, but it smelled so strongly and the scent was so pervasive, it lasted through several washings with other shampoos.

That’s it for September! I’m excited I used up so much, but it’s a bit overwhelming all in one post. I may have to split it up next time!

De-stash & Trash – May 2015

May was so busy! We spent a lot of time traveling or preparing to travel and then I hurtled directly into our busy season at work. I guess, I can rest when I’m dead, right?

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First off, my Real Techniques sponge/Beauty Blender experiment has a definitive result. I’ve spent the past six months alternating between the two sponges. Using them with the same foundations, cleaning them with the same soaps the same way. While I felt performance was comparable, I went through four Real Techniques sponges before my Beauty Blender started to wear out. Which means, I spent $4.00 more during that time on the inexpensive sponges than I did the high end.

When I first started using the Real Techniques sponges, they would last a good three months with daily use. Now I’m lucky to get six weeks with every-other-day use before they start to disintegrate. I hate to throw down $20 just for a sponge, but with the decline in Real Techniques’ quality, the Beauty Blender is actually the most economical choice.

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I did a lot of traveling this month! I picked up a couple packs of these to use so I wouldn’t have to take a whole bottle of micellar water with me. They actually did a pretty good job removing face makeup and didn’t hurt my skin like most wipes do.

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I also grabbed samples and things that were almost used used up to take with me on my travels. I got this gel moisturizer in a beauty box. It was very blue. It did moisturize, but I’m starting to learn that I don’t like gels very much for my own skin. It didn’t sit under makeup well, and it wasn’t moisturizing enough for nighttime.

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Finished off a Jordana 24hr Made to Last eye pencil. It looks like there’s a lot left, but it wouldn’t sharpen anymore. I really, really like this pencil! It’s one of the few I’ve tried that doesn’t transfer on my watery allergy eyes when I tightline. It’s easy to use, inexpensive, and removes fairly easily.

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I finally finished this concealer! I ended up cutting the tube open and scraping out the remainer once it got hard to squeeze out. I started to miss it after a couple of weeks and ended up getting another tube.

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I actually finished off a couple of these this last month. I have them in a few spots in the house. Vanity, bedside table, living room, bathroom. My daily routine isn’t always routine. I love this stuff and how gentle and effective it is!

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This was okay. I love me some serums and this one was as effective as anything else I use. But while most other serums take me 2-3 months to use up, this one only lasted about three weeks. And it was spendy, even at TJ Maxx prices.

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This was last year’s sunscreen. Time to replace it!

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Good old Coty Airspun unscented. This did the job, but I found an Indie powder foundation that I like for that purpose as well as for setting. So I probably won’t repurchase.

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So, I my skin pretty much burns right through SPF no matter how much I apply. I got some sun while I was out of town and ended up dark enough to wear this and give it a good test. I was surprised at how oily my t-zone was after wearing this for a while! It might be a good full-coverage option for winter for me.

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Got through a bottle of Rainbow Honey cuticle oil in the Frozen Flame scent. I really enjoyed it!

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Finished off a couple of toners. The first was nice! It felt refreshing, tingly, and hydrating at the same time. It had a natural herbal scent to it. I’ve always had good luck with Andalou Naturals.

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Garden Girl’s Soothing Harmony is my favorite toner so far. I like to try other things, but I keep coming back to this one.

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I switched out my Clarisonic head this month. This was the radience one. I definitely didn’t like it as much as the sensitive. The bristles are longer and softer and they bunched together. I had to do some scrubbing to feel like it was effective.

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I de-stashed some skin products. The Andalou Naturals BB Cream is pretty much done. L’oreal Visible Lift had a gritty texture I didn’t care much for. The sunscreen is expired in that tinted moisturizer. I never did get the Konad CC cream to work for me. It just made me look orange. And the Manic Panic white foundation was a good idea, but my skin reacted badly to it. I’ve since found other white foundations I like for mixing that don’t burn.

De-stash & Trash – March 2015

So, there are just a few things that I moved out of the stash last month.

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The first was a hyaluronic serum from a brand I can’t identify since I’ve long discarded the outside package. (Bad blogger!) It was a random TJ Maxx find, anyway. It didn’t blow me away with its sheer awesomeness, but it did provide a bit of a hydration boost over the winter. It had a dropper, and the serum had an almost jelly-like consistency, so it was difficult to get all the product out. Even with a spatula. I don’t think I would recommend it simply because of the waste involved. Unless you’re willing to take a saw to the bottle to get it open. Which I was not.

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This was a sample had lying around. I tried it tentatively (because rose and I typically don’t get along) but it didn’t irritate me at all. I used it mostly to wet eyeshadows and as a finishing spray to keep things from caking. I don’t think I would actually pay for it, but it was nice while I had it.

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This cream cleanser was in my project product, but I didn’t finish it. The last day I used it, I noticed some residue under the lid of the cap. I opened up the bottle and discovered mold. Way before the expiration date. Now, I know Burt’s a natural brand and he doesn’t have a lot of the preservatives other things do. But neither does Garden Girl, Nature’s Gate, or Andalou Naturals which are brands I regularly use. And I did keep this in my bathroom, where there’s more moisture. Right alongside my Garden Girl, Nature’s Gate, and Andalou Naturals products, which haven’t grown mold. I checked. Then I checked other Burt’s products I had and found mold in a shampoo and a moisturizer, the latter of which was not kept in a bathroom. Burt and I may have to part ways.

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I finished my favorite holy-grail-for-now shampoo, and along with it, almost four bottles of conditioner. It makes my hair feel clean, soft, and shiny. No matter what I experiment with, I go back to this every time.

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My Real Techniques complexion sponge began to disintegrate and leave tiny orange pieces of sponge behind when I used it. It seems like this is happening earlier and earlier – this one kicked it after only a month of every-other-day use. I’ve got another one that I’m rotating between a beauty blender. I’m very interested to see how they eventually measure up.

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I reached the end of a sample tube of this. It does amazing things for my lashes, but isn’t very practical unless I top it with something waterproof or I’m only wearing it for a couple of hours. It smudges on me like crazy!

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Had to throw out the Julep lip gloss I’d been working through because the container broke. It just snapped while it was in my jeans pocket. I’d gotten about halfway through and was really enjoying it!

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Finished up a 500ml bottle of Bioderma.

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Yes, that is the remnants of the a word on my hand. I can't remember what. Penguin, maybe? But we have to remember a lot of random things in a library!

And, finally, I used up a sample tube of Cargo’s Better Than Waterproof mascara. I liked this, for the most part. It’s a tubing mascara, which I’ve been seeking out more and more. It made my eyes a little sensitive when I removed it once in a while, but it volumized better than NYX’s Doll Eyes Waterproof

Pale Girl Problems

I’m a very pale person. We’re talking fishbelly. Practically transparent. A quick comparison:

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That’s my mom at the top there with a lovely light-golden skin tone. (Needless to say, I take after my Dad.) On the right is my sister-in-law who is a redhead with the beautiful even porcelain skin that goes with it. And on the left? My weird pasty paleness.

I have a really hard time matching foundations in general. My skin is neutral with an ever-so-slight yellow undertone that’s basically unnoticeable. But I also have a lot of redness to my skin.

It’s a pretty safe bet that, whatever foundation I want to try out, I’m going to want to choose the lightest shade available. But rarely is the lightest shade light enough. Let’s take, for example, the following eight foundations in my collection. I have applied them sheered out on the back of my hand, which is a match for my chest and neck.  They are all the lightest shades in their tones for their lines.

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TOP L to R: Rouge Bunny Rouge Time Defying Foundation in Linen Cream; Smashbox Studio Skin 15-hour Wear Hydrating Foundation in 1.1 Bottom L to R: Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Intensity 1.0; BareMinerals Bareskin in Porcelain Bare

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Top L to R: Lancome Teint Miracle in 2c Ivorire; Dr Jart Premium Beauty Balm. Bottom L to R: The Balm Time Balm in Lighter Than light; Konad's Irojie Floru CC Cream

I am all set if I want to impersonate a mutant oompa loompa next halloween, but they’re impossible to wear on their own.

I was particularly slayed by the Lancome as it’s the most beautiful of the lot by far. I have since found that Lancone has a 1N shade on their actual website that may work a little better. But the line starts at 2 in Ulta and Sephora.

I have found some shades that I can work with. And a couple that are pretty okay matches. The only thing I’ve found that was actually too light was a pure white.

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Top L to R: L'oreal Visible Lift in 143 Soft Ivory; Andalou Naturals BB Cream in Natural Tint Bottom L to R: 100% Pure Super Fruits Healthy Foundation in Porcelain 1; Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous in 805 Ivory

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Top L to R: Cover Girl Clean in 205 Ivory; It Cosmetics Ultra Repair Liquid Foundation in Fair. Bottom to R: Dr. Jart Water Fuse Beauty Balm; Femme Couture Tinted Moisturizer Sunscreen in Natural Buff

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Clockwise from left: It Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair; Manic Panic Dreamtone in Virgin; Tarte Maracuja Miracle Foundcealer in Fair

I like the idea of mixing those dark foundations with white, but the Manic Panic made my face burn. I have a couple of other white ones on order, but I fear it’s the white pigments that my skin is reacting to.

Am I the only one out there with this problem? Is is as hard to find foundations that work on the darkest end of the spectrum as it is on the lightest?

I may revisit this once I’ve exhausted all my mixing options.

Mask Roundup – February 2015

I did a lot of masking last month! My skin is in a pretty normal, happy state and I really think it’s due to that.

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I used a variety of my favorite sheet mask brand – MJ Care. I get these from Amazon, and can usually find them in 10-packs which brings them to about $1.00 apiece.

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I’m trying hard to get through my non-sheet mask backstock. I loved this brand when I first started masking, but now that I have a bit more experience in that arena, there are some things about it that concern me. This one in particular has a synthetic appearance and a lot of shimmer in it. It didn’t burn and made my skin feel good, so that’s something.

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This was a TJ Maxx find. It was nice in sort of a generic way. Most brands I find there don’t fit my fat face well. And, because I’m lazy and mask right before bed, I don’t love the fact that I had to rinse afterward.

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My face likes fruit enzymes and this one is particularly nice. It made me flush a little, but it didn’t burn or tingle.

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My Beauty Diary is a brand I enjoy. Their sheet masks fit well. They are a bit drippy but I would rather have that than a sheet mask that’s too dry.

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Anybody else find the cucumber disturbingly phallic?

Like this one. I Found it on the Konad website along with the Green Tea one I tried out last month. It just wasn’t juicy enough for me. This one tingled to the point of almost being uncomfortable. A sensation I don’t associate with cucumber. I don’t think I’ll be buying these again.

Project 10 Pan 2015 – 2 Month Update

After my second month of panning, I now know why so many people work with a deadline. I don’t think a year-long rolling project is going to work for me. First of all, I like deadlines. I enjoy having a target to aim for. I know this about myself, so why I didn’t start with the deadline method is beyond me.

Second of all, I’m getting bored and want to play with the rest of my collection. (Because, honesty!)

So, I think I’m going to adjust a bit.

I’ll keep Pan That Palette going all year. That one naturally lends itself to supplementing with other things as I finish shadows up.  For Project Pan I’ll finish out the month without rolling new products in as I finish. That’ll be the end of quarter one. I’ll keep Project Product going through quarter two. Quarter three will be another Project Pan and four will be a product.

I think this will work better for me!

I decided to keep this month’s update simple since so many of the products are the same.

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First up are the face products!

1) Trucking right along with the Andalou Naturals BB Cream. It’s difficult to tell exactly how much I have in there since the packaging is opaque, but I settled on the level after some tapping and squishing.

2) I transferred the Cover Girl Clean foundation into the cleaned and sanitized air pump bottle the NYC peptide serum was in. The triangular bottle and thick consistency was making it a messy pain in the butt to use. I’m still mixing it with a drop of oil and applying it over the BB cream, and that seems to work for my skin.

3) The Rimmel Match Perfection concealer stopped dispensing. I cut the tube open and scraped out the leftover product. It should last me another few weeks at least! (I have to admit, I bought another one of these today. It’s a dependable concealer, and I have a couple untrieds.)

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4) I think I’ll be using this Meow Cosmetics mineral eyeshadow sample until the end of time. It takes so very little on the brush to get color payoff. I’m really enjoying it!

5) Better Than Sex mascara smudges and transfers on me so immediately and severely that it looks like I’ve been having some. I’ve been able to use this under a tubing mascara and that lets me get through the day without it melting down my face, but at the sacrifice of the wonderful things it does for my lashes. And I have two more sample tubes of this stuff.

6) Milani eye primer. Does the job and does it well!

7) I finally sharpened the eyebrow pencil! The beauty mark has never looked better.

8) Tough as Taupe. *sigh* Still struggling with this one. Especially since I bought a new Color Tattoo and was subsequently reminded what the actual texture of these is supposed to be like. I think I’ll try the saline-and-microwave trick. If I still hate it at the end of this project, it shall be de-stashed.

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9) I’m enjoying the Julep gloss more than I thought I would. It’s a little too light, but sheer enough. Sticky, but not too sticky. I might consider getting this in a slight deeper shade.

10) And finally, I’m rotating in another lip balm. Burt’s Bees with coconut and pear. I got a four pack from my lovely sister-in-law for Christmas, and I want to get to work on them since they’re natural.

Finished Products
Rainbow Honey Lip Balm
Nyx dewey finish setting spray
Korrres face primer
Rainbow Honey Frozen Flame rollerball

Project Product 2015 – One Month Update

I did pretty well this month with products, finishing up four and cycling in four more.

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1) I only use this stuff once a week. When I work through a bottle of shampoo, there’s 3-4 bottles of conditioner to go along with it. I don’t think I can use this as my only shampoo and conditioner, but it’s good for occasional winter moisture needs.

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2) So, I’m not a bath and body works girl. I don’t find that their shower gels get me very clean and their lotions aren’t particularly moisturizing. At least not for my body chemistry. I’m using it on my legs and torso where I don’t need it.

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3) Burt’s Brightening moisturizer. I’m using this in place of a primer. It’s not silicone-based and it’s a bit sticky in texture. I haven’t been using it this way for long, but today’s foundation looked pretty darn spiffy.

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4) Trucking right along on the exfoliating mask. I really enjoy it!

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5) I may or may not be using the eye cream on other things to try to use it up. I have been mixing this with argan oil to make this moisturizing enough for my eyes.

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6) Getting close to the end on this lovely NYC Skincare peptide serum.

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7) I really enjoy this bottle of argan oil. I use it for just about everything; hair, skin, and nails. I’ve had this bottle for over a year, and I’m anxious to finish it up so I can try something new.

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8) More Burt! (He’s one of the few natural-ish options in local stores.) Spring and Summer come early in my part of the world, so it’s time to start finishing up some of my richer skincare like this cream cleanser. It’s nice and thick, and I haven’t been Lizard Woman this winter. So, go Burt!

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9) This moisturizing clay mask from Garden Girl falls in the category of “I want to use it up because I like it so much.” It’s a natural product and I’m afraid if I wait till next winter, it’ll go bad. So I’m cycling it in!

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From the look on that guy's face, that must be some mask!

10) And even more masks! I have learned something about myself. I am a sheet mask girl. After masking regularly for a few years, I’ve discovered I’m too lazy to use anything more than once a week that requires extensive rinsing. Now that Korean skincare is becoming a Thing in the states, sheet masks are now way more affordable and accessible. So these have been languishing in a drawer. I just need to use them. I’m lumping all of these together to make one product: 5 Montagne Jeunesse masks in Strawberry Souffle, 1 each from the same brand in Mud Pack, Very Berry, and Dead Sea Mud for men. 1 Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Mask, 1 Anti-blemish mud mask from Look Beauty, and 1 Que Bella anti-aging goji berry mask which terrifies me a bit because one of their other ones burned. Might do a patch test first.

Finished Products
Beauty Secrets Non-acetone nail polish remover.
Jeffrey James Botanicals The Cake mud mask.
La Fresh makeup wipes.
Bath and Body Works shower gel in White Citrus.