Jun 08 2014

May Empties


Welcome back ladies and gentlemen. Whatcha ya saying?

As many beauty enthusiasts will be aware, “empties” has become something of a phenomenon in the beauty social media world (for those of you who may not know “empties” is basically when we share our garbage, i.e.products that we’ve used up, and tell you a little something of what we thought about those products). For those unfamiliar with this bizarre ritual, it may seem kinda silly but I have actually found it to be a great way not only to discover what I really like but what others are enjoying. For example, if one has used three bottles of the same shampoo its probably fair to say its a good one, right?

Don’t know how well an empties post is gonna to translate onto a blog given that they are usually reserved for the YouTube realm, but we’ll see how it goes. This month (MAY) will be a small one. I had intended to wait until the end of June, but there were a couple of “back to MAC” eligible items in there that I wanted to take with me on my trip state-side to exchange for a goodie (most likely another lipstick).

Just a heads up, reviews on empty products are intended to be brief, so my thoughts will be restricted to a few sentences on each. Remember these are my own opinions, skincare/makeup is a very personal thing and different products work differently for different people.


May Empties


Garbage round-up:

Fresh Brown Sugar shower gel: Smells like sweet lemons, feels soft on skin, moderate lather. Expensive at $18 dollars a pop, but a nice luxury treat even now and again if you’re in the market.

Victoria’s Secret shower gel in Pure Seduction: A cult following scent that is sweet but sexy at the same time. Lather is somewhat disappointing and it tends to go really fast probably because you have to use so much to get a decent lather.

UD Anti-Aging eyeshadow primer: Really great stuff. Helps my shadow last longer, decent at preventing creasing, has a moisturizing quality. This was one of two GWP deluxe samples I acquired (may have to fork over the $$ when I run out of the next one).

Philosophy Purity face wash: This was a deluxe sample size I used for travel. I am a fan of this face wash and it makes an appearance in my skincare regime from time to time.

Yes To Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Wipes: Use these fairly regularly, particularly in the summer (but not for eyes).

Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover: Also a regular part of my cleansing ritual. Removes almost every type of make-up from the eye area really well.

Lancome High Resolution eye cream: Good, moisturizing but nothing fantastic.

Sheiseido Rejuvenating Moisturizer: Another deluxe sample, this cream is heavy. It contains a fair amount of antioxidants and I like to use it after intense treatments like Glycolic-acid based facial pads. Probably wouldn’t purchase a full size as it’s kinda expensive.

MAC Lipstick: This is OLD (maybe five years?). The name rubbed off but think it was one of the older Viva Glams, the red colour with the red accent to the packaging (inside part of bullet).

MAC Lipgloss (Dazzleglass): This was ok, I don’t particularly like the brush applicators on the Dazzleglass formulas but the color paired well with most pink lipsticks adding a nice appearance of “fullness” to the lips.

MAC Prep & Prime in Radiant Rose: One of my favourite brightening products for highlighting the face, suited for fair, light to medium skin tones.

My boyfriend’s items:

Clinique face wash for Men: I asked him what his thoughts were on this face wash and he shrugged, said “it’s ok” and put his head phones back on, lol. So I guess either it’s not that impressive or he was really into whatever he was watching. 🙂

B&BW C.O. Bigelow body wash: He really likes this line from Bath and Body Works. Elixir White is our favourite, something about the smell is intoxicating, the slight spicy black pepper notes combined with the fresh citrus notes are blended perfectly in this formula. (Save 15% site wide at BigelowChemists.com plus get free shipping over $49. Use promo code FIREWORKS15 from 6/30 – 7/6.)

That’s it. Thanks for stopping by.

What does your “trash” look like? 🙂 What products do you find yourself using the most of?

All products mentioned in this post were purchased by the author with the author’s own money. The thoughts and opinions expressed are the author’s own. Unless expressly stated, the author does not represent and is not affiliated with the brands, services, and websites mentioned. Post contains some affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.




Jun 06 2014

Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Foundation (Hot Weather Beauty)


Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Foundation has been tried and tested by many, many beauty gurus, enthusiasts and junkies….but I could not resist adding my own thoughts to the numerous reviews out there because of how much I LOVE this product, particularly its resistance to the effects of heat and humidity. In my mind, this foundation is the perfect product to be the first featured in the Hot Weather Beauty series.

Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Foundation

According to Clinique.com, this foundation is “tested for streaking and fading at 88°F with a constant 80% humidity, all to prove Stay-Matte stays fresh. At the same time, this patent-pending formula absorbs shine, controls oil, resists sweat. And you stay matte all day.”

Do I find these claims to be true?

Generally speaking, YES.

I’ve been using this foundation on and off since last summer. The true test, however, came when I moved back home to The Bahamas.

To recap (this is included in the Summer Essential SPF Sunscreen homepage): during the summer months, temperatures range anywhere from 85°F (29°C) to 95°F (35°) with relative humidity usually above 70% and the UV Index ranging from 8 (Very High) – 11(Extreme). You can find more information on the weather and climate in The Bahamas on The Bahamas’s Department of Meteorology’s website or travel weather sites like myweather2.com.

I don’t think I realised how well this worked at keeping oil at bay and mattifying until I stopped using it for about a week or so to test out some other foundations.

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Jun 05 2014

Origins Skin Care Haul (Mini)


Have been on an origins skin care kick for the past few months. I ordered this toner/treatment lotion a few weeks ago when Origins was running the special promo (three deluxe samples with any purchase). I needed a new one, so I thought I would give this, apparently new, Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating treatment lotion a try.

Origins Haul

It was only after having ordered it did I take a look at reviews, including Paula’s Choice which actually ranks this lotion as poor due to it containing plant irritants. It also contains alcohol but that fact is not well advertised. Despite these apparent cons, so far this product hasn’t irritated my skin, caused any breakouts or dryness. At the same time, I am not sure if is doing anything good for me either.

I’ve also tried two of the deluxe samples, the anti-aging eye cream is decent (used at night) and the foaming face wash, which I’ve used off and on for a few years, has always been a favourite of mine in the Summer.

I am going to NYC in the near future so look out for an epic haul. I’ve got my eye on some things.

What have you hauled lately? Any recommendations?




*Disclaimer: Unless otherwise noted, all products mentioned in this post were purchased by the author with the authors own money and the author does not represent and is not affiliated with the brands, services, and websites mentioned.




Jun 04 2014

What’s new at the Local Drugstore?


What’s new at the Local Drugstore? A few days ago, I posted that the major local drugstore/pharmacy in The Bahamas was carrying the new Revlon Rio Rush Collection and noted my surprise at the stock of newly released/”new-ish” products.

As a result, I felt that this post was necessary because my shock at the selection and availability went far beyond just the one collection. Dem get (“They have”) everything in there!  O.K., maybe not EVERYTHING, but a wider selection than what I’ve been previously accustomed to.

Now, as I said before, I haven’t been drugstore make-up shopping at home in a long, long while so I may be behind the curve on this one. However, I will say that I was in the store about two months ago and it was nothing like this.

The local drugstore in Harbour Bay Shopping Centre (east end of the island) recently underwent some renovations, which, among other things, paved the way for a separate “cosmetics section” which includes brands such as Maybelline, Revlon, Black Opal, and NYC. Other shelves are lined with a variety of beauty-related products of the hair care and skin variety, such as L’Oreal’s Advanced Hair Care line to Neutrogena’s Ant-Aging line.


Revlon - Nassau Bahamas Local Drugstore
Black Opal - Nassau Bahamas Local Drugstore
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Jun 03 2014

Origins Perfect World SPF 25 Moisturizer


Welcome to the first installment of the Summer Essential SPF Sunscreen Series.

The Series kicks off with a review of Origins a Perfect World SPF 25 Age-Defense Moisturizer w/ White Tea, a moisturiser/sunscreen hybrid. This oil-free moisturizer is described on Origin’s website as a “super-charged, antioxidant moisturizer with White Tea, Maritime Pine and UVA/UVB sunscreens” that “surrounds skin in a protective bubble to help delay the appearance of premature aging signs”. The star ingredients include the following plant-based antioxidants: Silver Tip White Tea, Arabidopsis, Resveratrol and Maritime Pine. The product’s active ingredients include: Octisalate (5%), Avobenzone (3%), Octocrylene (2.7%), which are all chemical sunscreens (UVA/UVB) (Check out Skinacea.com (“Sunscreen 101”) for a great breakdown of the differences between chemical and physical sunscreens and other useful information on the subject.) It claims to be oil-free and is targeted toward combination to dry skin types. It does not claim to be water-resistant.

Origins A Perfect World

I tested out this product every day for a full two weeks under different conditions.

Upon application, the product feels thick. So much so that it reminds me of the thickness one usually associates with physical sunscreens. It took some effort to rub it in, but once you get it going it begins to take on more of a slippery, almost oil-like texture. Immediately after application there is a very slight “white-cast” (on my NC 25 complexion). I had my friend (NC 45) try this out as well and it left a whitish-grey cast upon initial application, which dissipated within 1-2 minutes. Basically you have to rub the product into your skin fairly well.

I wore this sunscreen/moisturiser with and without make-up. I did not have problems layering my primers (silicone based) or my foundations (Kat Von D, UD Naked, Clinique Stay Matte, Garnier BB) over this. I did find, however, that depending on what foundation I wore, I could begin to look oily about mid-afternoon. This was especially the case with the UD Naked Foundation and Garnier BB Cream. That being said, this did not break me out.

I did not experience symptoms of unprotected sun exposure while using this (such as burning, darkening of sun-spots etc.), however I was not exposed to the sun for prolonged periods. My activities included going to work, walking out of the office for lunch, an occasional out-door meal in day-light etc. In other words, I was not outside for more than 20 minutes. This product is not marketed for use during out-door sporting activities.

A Full Size is 1.7 oz and comes in jar form (you can find it at Origns.com). Would I purchase a full size? Probably not, I have used better moisturizing products with SPF which I enjoy more than this.


  • White/Grey Cast: Slight-Moderate depending on skin tone
  • Consistency: Thick to Medium
  • Did not break me out
  • Foundation Approved (unless using a dewy foundation with oily skin)
  • Best for: Dry, Combination, and Normal Skin Types (Note: However it may not work for skin that is not only dry but extremely de-hydrated)
  • May work for: Combination/Oily Skin Types
  • Not good for: Very Oily Skin Types
  • Best used for: Normal daily activities with limited sun exposure. Not recommended for use in situations of pro-longed sun exposure
  • Cost: High (Retail $41.00 USD)
  • Available Locally: No (Check Origins.com , Sephora.com, Nordstrom.com and/or similar retailers)


For perspective on skincare product reviews, it’s always useful to know a little something about the reviewer’s skin type. Rather than repeating the information in every post, I have a summary on the “My Skin States” page.



All products mentioned in this post were purchased by the author with the author’s own money. The thoughts and opinions expressed are the author’s own. Unless expressly stated, the author does not represent and is not affiliated with the brands, services, and websites mentioned. See Disclaimer for more information.