Sunday, March 23, 2014

Empties!!!

Hey guys! Today I have for you my first ever Empties post! I absolutely love watching these videos on YouTube and decided to give it a try. Now, I don't go through beauty products very fast, as I'm too lazy to actually do anything in the morning and I prefer to go au naturale. So, this post is an accumulation of a couple months, yes months, worth of stuff. I mostly have body and hair products with a few other tidbits thrown in.

Let's get this party started shall we? (Plus I'll finally be able to recycle this huge bag of junk I've had sitting in my room for the last 6 months.)


 Healthy teeth, healthy teeth. This is the ACT Total Care Anticavity Flouride Mouthwash in Icy Clean Mint. I use this stuff religiously. Even if I'm as drunk as a skunk or exhausted after a 36 hour day, I always always use this stuff before I go to bed. I even packed a huge bottle of it when I went to France last year. As a person with weak tooth enamel (I get cavities like no other), a flouride rinse is a must. I used to use Phosflur, which is absolutely amazing, but I didn't like the $13 price tag. ACT is only around 5 or 6 bucks, you get a lot more product, and it works just as well.

Alright switching gears, because Blogger is being a poop and a half, here we have some hair products. The first is Herbal Essences Honey, I'm Strong shampoo. This smells like honey but with a flowery-Herbal Essences twist. When I first started using it, it made my hair very soft, but as with most products I use, my hair got used to it and it stopped being effective. This is why I rarely buy the same product twice! This made my hair very clean and did add some lift to my roots, plus I noticed less hair fallout when showering (and I lose a metric ton of hair).

The second product is Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship conditioner. I've used this along with the matching shampoo, and as with all products, it worked great at first and then meh later. The scent is wonderful, and the product worked well to hydrate the middle section of my hair. However, I didn't find it helping my poor ends, which are extremely prone to splitting (the curse of long wavy hair)

 And switching gears again (curse you Blogger!), we've got some toothpastes. I'm honestly not picky when it comes to my toothpaste, as long as it has some whitening action and is minty. Fruity toothpaste? Yuck. But honestly, I buy whatever is the best deal. I liked both of these toothpastes. I didn't notice much whitening action, but considering the rate I consume coffee and soda, that's no surprise. They're nice, minty, and refreshing. If anything, the Crest Complete tasted better than the other, but really either one is great.

Ok, back to the bath stuff. I have to admit, I am addicted to Bath & Body Works shower gels. They just smell so amazing, and there's always great deals on those buggers!! It takes me a while to get through these because I like to use them seasonally, but these are what I got through within the last year. From left to right: Warm Vanilla Sugar (creamy body wash), Be Enchanted, Wild Citrus Sunflower, Summer Vanillas Lemon, and Aromatherapy Stress Relief Eucalyptus Spearmint. Hands down, my favorites were the Eucalyptus Spearmint and Wild Citrus Sunflower. They smelled so good!

Now, although I adore the scents of BBW shower gels, I'm not happy with the formula. My skin gets very dry after use (even with the creamy wash) and I get that weird squeaky-sticky sensation that happens with some soaps. I never feel quite clean, plus the delicious smells don't last--I get dressed and poof! Smell gone. I'm sure I'll eventually buy more BBW shower gels because, let's be honest, they smell too darn good to pass up, but their formula does not work well for me. Dilemmas, dilemmas.

Face stuff! I don't have a lot of face stuff because I have one of the simplest routines out there: exfoliate in the shower (2-3/week) and use toner nightly. That's it. Seriously. The Biore Acne Clearing Scrub is my all-time fave. I've tried a few others by Neutrogena and St. Ives, but this Biore one is by far the best. My skin feels so clean after I use it, and you can actually feel it tingling and working on your skin. So refreshing! This is a more intense scrub, so I would not recommend it for sensitive skin.

This toner is the Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Triple Action Toner. Say that five times fast. I really like this toner. I bought it to replace my Biore one (because they changed their formula which I didn't like as much as the original), and it became a new favorite. I actually just finished my fourth bottle! It causes a slight tightening sensation, which indicates it's a bit drying, but for my bipolar-combo skin, it totally works. I do find that when I get my stress acne (darn midterms and finals!) this doesn't really help. However, no skin products ever help. Anyway, I would really recommend this toner, not for sensitive skin, because of how awesome it is for daily use and the fact that one bottle lasts for freakin' ever!

Now we're into some random stuff, but hey, that's okay. First we have BBW's Triple Moisture Body Cream in Cherry Blossom. I. Love. This. Product! I can't count how many of these I've gone through in the last 8 years. Though the scents may change, the product itself stays the same. The Cherry Blossom scent is one of my favorites, which makes the fact that it was discontinued this last fall all the more heartbreaking. I use this every night before bed and whenever my hands are feeling a bit dry. It is fab. I've also used this product in Paris Amour, Carried Away, Into the Wild (RIP), Pink Grapefruit (double RIP), and Fresh Pineapple (infinity RIP), and I'm currently using one in Sea Island Cotton. Next scent on my list is Beautiful Day.

Following is my favorite contact solution, Bausch & Lomb's ReNu Fresh. I've been using this for years (since 7th grade!) and it hasn't failed me yet. I've occasionally switched to Opti-Free which works just as well, but ReNu is consistently cheaper and the bottles are a bit bigger. Huge huge fan.

Finally, we have the SunSilk Waves of Envy Sea Mist. This stuff was hands down the best beach spray I've ever used, so of course it was discontinued a million years ago. I already have naturally wavy hair, but this spray made it look like I'd gone swimming in the ocean early in the morning and let my hair dry in the sun. So in other words, awesome. It smelled just like beachy ocean spray so it was like a vacation in a bottle. I would absolutely repurchase, if it were still in existence that is.

Yay deodorant! Secret Clinical Strength is probably the best deodorant ever. It's a little pricey for my taste, but it just works so well. I'm a lifeguard during the summer, so I get pretty sweaty (TMI I know), and this stuff is a lifesaver. It lasts all day and I haven't had a problem with white marks when I wear dark colors (and I wear metric fuck-ton of dark colors). Definitely recommend.

Once again, I'm a lifeguard, so I have the low down when it comes to great sunscreen. I don't burn easily (I'm a natural tanner), but when you spend 8+ hours in the sun with a high UV rating five days a week, you need the protection. The Neutrogena UltraSheer Body Mist Sunblock is my absolute favorite--I've never had sunscreen that worked so well. I actually like their SPF 100+ a little better, but the 45 works great, too (you just have to reapply a little more often). I reapply every 2 hours or so all over, including my face and the tips of my ears; even though all sunscreen claims to be sweatproof/waterproof, you should still reapply regularly. For me, this works much better than the ever-popular Coppertone Sport (which actually makes me burn like crazy), and that completely justifies the $13 price tag.

Finally we have yet another of one of my favorite hair products that was cruelly discontinued: the Sunsilk Waves of Envy Gel & Cream Twist. This stuff made the most soft, romantic waves I've ever had. It's also the only hair gel product I've ever used that didn't make my hair go all hard and crusty. I wish they would bring this back. If only, if only.

Alright now we have the randos! One the left we have one of many dead BBW Wallflowers. I love these little things! They seriously cover an entire floor of my house with just one plug, and they smell so amazing. I believe this one was a caramel-ly thing, but my recent fave was the Lemon Mint Leaf. Dear. Lord.

Next we've got an EOS lip balm in Sweet Mint. Unfortunately it got a little funky when above Wallflower plug leaked all over my empties bag. Anywhoo, these EOS balms are my new Holy Grail lippies. They're so moisturizing and they last for freaking ever. I just finished a Strawberry one which took me almost a year to finish (and that's with using it 3-4 times daily!). I also have the Lemon and Blueberry ones, but I love the Mint flavor the best. My only qualm is with the packaging. I think the egg design is super cute and they're fun to click open, but I hate that I can't put it in my pocket. Other than that little thing, I definitely recommend getting these little puppies.

Far right we have the ELF Cream Eyeliner in Black. This is such a great cream liner for such a little price. It's so perfectly dark and opaque and applies perfectly smooth. A little goes a looooong way! I do recommend setting it with a black shadow as it smudges easily (which really is perfect for easy smoky eyes) and can crease if you have oily lids (guilty). I really like using this as a base when doing dark smoky looks, and for 3 bucks, it just can't be beat.

Finally we have some BBW hand sanitizers. I fall victim to those darn 5 for $5 deals almost every time I walk into a BBW. They just smell so good without leaving that nasty alcohol smell, plus they last a fairly long time and work just as they're supposed to. The two pictured scents are Winter Spice & Vanilla (spiced vanilla cookie scent) and Apple Wreath (apple and pine scent), which were from fall collections 2 years ago. I also recently finished Mistletoe Kiss (straight up holly scent) and Twisted Peppermint (sweet candy cane scent). My least favorite was Mistletoe Kiss. Just not my kind of smell. But the other three were balls-to-the-wall amazing, especially Winter Spice & Vanilla. Yum! You really can't find a better deal on hand sanitizers than BBW, and before you know it, you'll have a little army of the things guarding your desk.


And that's it for my super long post of empties. I hope you found it useful, and I hope you give some of these products a try! Hopefully next time I'll have more beauty-related items! Thanks for reading, and I'll see you in a later post!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Good Really Do Die Young

My hometown has suffered a huge loss tonight: 3 teenage boys lost in a car accident with one in the hospital. I didn’t know them well, but in a small town, everyone knows everyone.

I’ve known these boys since they were little second graders. I went to school with their siblings and they with mine. I know their parents, their friends, their co-workers and teachers. I know what sports they played in, who their relationships were with. I know their voices, their presence, their smiles.
I didn’t know them well, but I know just enough that it hurts more than I ever expected. I can’t fathom what their families are feeling right now. I’m sure I don't want to. I don’t want to imagine their siblings finding out they’ll never get another phone call, another text message, another conversation. I don’t want to imagine their mothers realizing that their babies are not ever coming home.
I don't want to imagine them never getting married, having kids. Never seeing their nieces and nephews growing up or their parents growing old. Never graduating from college. Never playing  in another baseball game. I don't want to imagine any of these things, but right now, they're all I see. I don't understand. I can't understand.
John. Tyler. Payton. I hope you find some peace, wherever and however that is.
Kansas. Keep your strength and keep fighting, because we can't lose you, too.

Fly high, boys. Fly high.