Apart from the Empties from the #GreenSurvivor challenge, I have a whole bunch of other empties that I wanted to summarize here. It gives me such a sense of achievement to finish up products – I’m sure I’m not alone here, right? This post has been in Draft status for the longest time, and I’ve already collected many more empties that I’ll post soon. Also, I have decided that I need to put a spending ban – my stash is out of control (again!). The sheer number of products I have can sustain an entire family for at least a couple of years. So, I’ve started giving away samples and products that I know I’ll never get to — especially to those who are just getting started on their green beauty journey and would like to make the switch. I am putting it in writing here so I can be held accountable – I will not be purchasing any new skincare and makeup items, unless it can’t be substituted with a similar product from my stash.
Kai Perfume Oil ($48 for 1/8 oz) – I’ve gone through two vials of this perfume oil, and still unable to make up my mind if I like it overall or not. The fragrance is quite floral, and reminds me of everything beautiful that is Hawaii. The perfume oil comes with a roller ball applicator that is easy to use – I usually rub some behind my ears and on the pulse points on both my wrists. The scent is quite subtle, and I found myself catching whiffs of it from my wrists even a couple of hours after the initial wear. I do like my fragrances to be a little stronger and won’t be repurchasing this. If you like something very light, give this a try.
Badger After Sun Balm ($9.99 for 2 oz) – Primarily used this on my little fur baby, Sasha’s paw pads, after a walk or run outside, to keep them moisturized. His paws are super sensitive and always take a beating, thanks to the hot concrete pavements and seasonal allergies. This balm has an extremely impressive list of butter and oils – Shea butter, Cocoa Butter, Blue Tansy, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, among many others. Blue Tansy is certainly having a moment in green beauty, and it’s great to see Badger Balm including this expensive essential oil in a product that’s priced very competitively. I could tell Sasha loved this balm a lot because he couldn’t stop licking his paws (and my hands)! That’s not really a problem, since all ingredients are 100% natural and safe. Definitely going to repurchase this.
Rahua Voluminous Conditioner ($34 for 9.3 oz) – I got this travel sized conditioner in one of the previous NMDL Quarterly boxes I used to subscribe to. This was reserved primarily for my travels, but I did start using it at home, to finish up the bottle. There’s nothing to not like about this conditioner, if you’re willing to pay the price. It’s very moisturizing, and makes my hair soft. Regarding the volume bit, I didn’t notice anything extraordinary compared to other conditioners. I am not very picky when it comes to conditioners since I have oily, thin hair, and only condition my ends. But if you’re someone with dry to normal hair and in need of some volume, definitely take a look at this product.
Avène Thermal Spring Water ($18 for 10 oz) – After about 6 months of twice daily use, I’ve finally run out of my first bottle of this gigantic thermal spring water. No worries though, I have many back ups ready! I will never be without this, and use this to mist my face, before the application of my face cleanser. I’ve written a detailed review on this product here.
Andalou Naturals Aloe + Willow Bark Pore Minimizer ($12.95/6 oz) – I am so sad to see the end of this product. I love applying it with a cotton pad post cleansing, to remove tap water impurities, refine my pores and balance skin’s pH. I’m extremely tempted to pick up another back up (and almost did today while shopping at Marshalls), but I just can’t, since I have so many other toners/mists in stock. I am going to replace this with Melvita Lavender Water, that I’m currently using as my choice of liquid with dry clay masks. Lavender water is mildly acidic, and helps control blemishes. I have written a more detailed review on the Andalou Naturals Pore Minimizer toner here.
Tatcha Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream ($135/15 ml) – Finished up a deluxe sample of my favorite eye cream! But not to worry, I already have a full size as backup. This is the only eye cream that really makes a difference to my dark circles. I can see a stark difference every morning, if I remember to apply it the night before. During the time of writing of my previous review, Petrolatum was listed as one of the ingredients, but today, I see that it’s no longer listed. Instead, Squalene is listed as the third ingredient, which is great news, since I know some of you were not too happy with the inclusion of Petrolatum (I wasn’t either, obviously). Seems like the cream might have been reformulated – I did reach out to Tatcha on their Instagram page, and will update if I hear back.
Kahina Rosemary Lavender Soap sample ($48 for 3 100-gm bars) – Received this as a free sample with one of my Integrity Botanicals orders. The sample was good enough for about 3 showers. The soap has tiny rosemary particles to gently stimulate the skin – didn’t notice much scrubbing action though. The fragrances of rosemary and lavender are very soothing. The high % of oils makes this soap very soft and luxurious to use. It’s definitely more moisturizing than an average handmade soap, but because of this, unfortunately, it melts too fast. I probably won’t be purchasing a full size, because I am too broke spending all my money on face related items. Plus, my body skin is not really finicky and I can get away with using cheaper body care products.
Kypris Beauty Elixir III Prismatic Array sample ($150 for 50 ml) – All Beauty Elixirs from Kypris have the same base oils, but are a little different from each other in that they have added essential oils (or not) to address specific skin concerns. Beauty Elixir III has no added essential oils, and is targeted towards the most sensitive skin types, that can’t handle EOs. The sample was good enough for about 4 days (both AM and PM). I really liked this elixir and it suited my combination acne prone skin, but the absence of any fragrance was a deal breaker for me. It’s not a surprise that I bought Beauty Elixir II in full size – It smells like a bouquet of Jasmine, Geranium, Lavender and Patchouli, in the best way possible. I will be doing a full review on Kypris Serums and Beauty Elixir II after a couple of weeks!
Dr. Alkaitis Organic Universal Mask sample ($60 for 1.25 oz) – The sample packet was sufficient for about 4 uses; it looks tiny, but you need so little to create a mask. This mask has Spirulina (hence the green color!), Flax Seed, and Chlorella, in addition to a host of other vegetables. There’s certainly a lot of nutrients, and the price point is in line with what other organic, luxury green beauty brands charge for comparable powder DIY masks. The first two times, I used it with floral water, and found it a huge pain to keep it moist (you’re supposed to keep this mask moist in order to keep the “actives” working on your skin). After reading the official instructions, it struck me that using honey would keep the mask moist for a longer time, thus eliminating the need of repeatedly spraying my face with toner/water. I don’t really enjoy using honey with clay masks, so the overall experience was quite ho-hum. The mask is very gentle, and non abrasive, and sensitive skin types might like it more. For me personally, I couldn’t see much results to warrant a purchase. I have two more samples from Dr. Alkaitis that I’m working on, and will do a separate post on those.
Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence sample ($85 for 125 ml) – This is not my first time sampling this highly coveted, and luxurious toning mist. In fact, I’ve been lusting after it for the longest time, and every time there’s an SBL sale, I am so tempted to pick it up. The ingredients are stellar, with Aloe Leaf Juice forming the main base. The mist is extremely hydrating, thanks to the addition of Hyaluronic Acid. Also, it contains Witch Hazel, and Willow Bark and Rice Extracts to gently refine tone and minimize pores. The only thing that’s stopping me from purchasing this mist is the high price point, and the fact that I’m extremely heavy handed with toners (and that I have 7,489 toners that need using up). Definitely consider purchasing this if you’re in the market for a high end hydrating mist.
CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm sample ($26 for 15 ml) – I got this sample a long time ago through monthly Goodebox subscription. I also own this in full size (got it in an ANFGB Goodebox)! This stuff saved my lips and skin during this terribly dry winter. I was down with common cold for the longest time ever, and the skin around my nose took a severe beating, thanks to Kleenex. The balm really works its magic on broken skin and chapped lips. I apply a thick coat every night before calling it a day. By next morning, there’s a film of dead skin at the very top that can easily be scrubbed off, thus eliminating the need for any harsh lip scrubs. It’s supposedly great for eczema, scars, and cuticles as well — yet to test on scars, too worried the thick texture might make me break out. Anyone who’s tried this balm on scars? For the price, the quantity is a little less, which is why I keep this product reserved primarily for lips and my cuticles. I will consider buying this on a sale, but at full price, a little hard to justify when I can find a substitute for much less.