project use it up: March empties

project use it up-2

Happy Easter! Here’s what I used up in March.

March 2018 empties

  • avatara wipe out nose pore strips: first time using these and it was quite a nice experience. I picked them up at Target and definitely noticed a difference.
  • elf Ultimate Blending brush – Probably my favorite elf brush, but I had it for years and it gave up the ghost
  • Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer in Sand – One of my favorite sunscreens. It just matches my skin tone without turning orange. Currently using the un-tinted one in an effort to simplify my makeup look.
  • fresh Rose Face mask – sample from Sephora. Just a lovely mask that leaves my skin feeling soft and refreshed. I’d be willing to buy a trial size in future.
  • Dr.Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap in Peppermint – a classic. This is a trial size because I like to rotate the scents and even the small size goes a long way.

March 2018 empties

  • Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides – My favorite collagen supplement for skin and joints, but it’s pricey and I can’t always justify the cost. I splurge when my knees are feeling particularly achy, or I want a skin boost.
  • Rainbow Light Just Once Iron-Free – The best multi I’ve tried and one I continue to purchase.
  • Jarrow Formulas Femdophilus – Probiotics for ladies. ’nuff said. I can’t say I noticed a difference, but it was on sale and I thought it worth a try.
  • Gaia Herbs Quick Defense – This is one of those products that I try to push on people. I keep a bottle on hand for colds and flu and it WORKS. It speeds up a cold like you wouldn’t believe.

March 2018 empties

  • A pen – Because every pen is a success.
  • Re-Boost decongestion spray – picked this up a few months ago and it’s come in very handy. It’s a natural product that actually works to clear things up.
  • Nature’s Bounty thrive blend – It smells strongly of clove but I like to think that it works to clean the air during cold season. At least it helped when I was stuffed up last month.
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project use it up: February empties + declutter

Empties

Lifestyle

February 2018 empties

  • Nature’s Gate Revitalizing Jojoba + Sacred Lotus shampoo – I returned to Nature’s Gate after several failed forays into low poo options. NG works for my hair and doesn’t weigh it down.
  • ACURE pore clarifying facial scrub – this is a very mild, red clay scrub. I like alternating this one with the regular green scrub from the same brand.
  • alba acnedote astringent – my go-to acne treatment for hormonal (re: PMS) breakouts. Non-drying and just the right amount of salicylic for my sometimes sensitive skin.
  • Nature’s Gate whitening toothpaste – I meant to order the Kiss My Face but this one was just as good. Sometimes too minty for me.
  • Eden’s Garden Breathe Easier synergy blend – a blend of citrus and mint that really clears up a stuffy nose. This is my third bottle and I will be repurchasing.
  • Laneige water sleeping mask – not an empty, but I’ve noticed that I break out every time I use it. No noticeable difference in my skin. I’ve had a similar reaction to other K-skincare brands. I’m not sure what upsets my skin, but I’ll stick to my regular routine.
  • Solgar B Complex “50” – Just a good ol’ b complex blend. I like this particular line. Effective and affordable.

Tea

I’m making an effort to use up my packaged tea before I try any new blends. These are the blends I used up in February.

February 2018 empties

  • Tea India Chai Moments Milk Tea – instant milk tea. picked these up at an Indian festival as a treat.
  • Traditional Medicinals Weightless blend – I have issues with water retention and this helps move things along. This is not a *weightloss* tea. It is an herbal blend to ease water retention and a sluggish liver (I don’t have a gallbladder, so it helps).
  • Traditional Medicinals EveryDay Detox Lemon blend – again, not a weightloss tea. Mostly dandelion to ease water retention and clear up a sluggish bile tract.
  • Bigelow benefits radiate beauty blend – a very nice berry blend with skin-loving herbs. I’m not sure it cleared up my skin, but I like the flavor.
  • Triple Leaf Chrysanthemum tea – just a classic tea. Sometimes helps when I have tummy trouble. My Chinese coworker says Chrysanthemum tea is used in Chinese medicine to balance an off system.
  • Noveltea Oliver Lemon Twist – a lemongrass scented tea. Lovely, mild taste and cute packaging (it comes in a book-shaped box).
  • Zhena gypsy tea sampler – Egyptian Mint (green and mint) and Italian Chamomile (chamomile and rose hip) – classic flavors, just a nice sampler set.

 


Declutter

I konmaried the house nearly two years ago, but it’s time for a review. I’m not engaging in a full-blown konmari declutter, but I am looking to eliminate/donate items that no longer serve.

I started with a review of my kitchen storage (not my pantry). This picture was taken half-way through the process. There were a few more items added to the pile, but it’s a modest selection compared to my first konmari declutter.

February 2018 declutter

An unexpected addition was my microwave (not pictured, obvs). It started to burn out (I could smell the wires burning), so it was time to toss. I am not replacing it. I didn’t use it enough to justify a replacement, and I’m finding alternatives to meet my heating needs. I’m also loving the amount of counter space it freed up 🙂

project use it up: January empties

project use it up-2

Health

2018 empties #1

  • Renew Life Extra Care Ultimate Flora probiotics – these are easy to find when I need something extra
  • Gaia Herbs – Back Elderberry Syrup – takes delicious and really helps boost my immune system when I’m surrounded by sick students
  • Gaia Herbs Quick Defense – this is a super dose of elderberry and echinacea (among other hers) that makes a huge difference when I feel a cold coming on (I’ve used it in the past when fighting a really nasty cold and last year’s flu)

Toiletries & Skincare

2018 empties #1

  • Andalou Naturals Un-tinted Benefit Balm – I use this for the SPF 30. It leaves a mild white cast but it almost acts as a primer for my makeup. It’s not my favorite, but it works for every day sun protection.
  • Acure Facial Cleansing Creme – I prefer the regular cleanser, but my skin was feeling a little dry and sensitive, so I decided to give this one a try. It feels like a balm cleanser and works best as a second cleanse after removing makeup.
  • NOW Hyauluronic Acid Firming Serum – I love this and started a new bottle as soon as I ran out. It’s very light and acts as a moisturizing serum beneath my oil and sunscreen steps.
  • Botanical Beauty Organic Japanese Camellia Seed Oil – there is some debate as to whether the purity of this oil (amazon comments controversy, as per usual), but I credit this with helping my hair grow and become more smooth and manageable. It is my only form of conditioner and I use it on my ends and the lower half of my scalp where I tend to have some mild psoriasis. I love it and I already opened a larger bottle.
  • Johnson’s Head-to-toe extra moisturizing bath – I needed some moisture and I like baths.
  • The Beauty Shelf green tea Konjac sponge – I really like Konjac sponges and this one comes in a three heart set 🙂

Scents & Candles

2018 empties #1

  • Nature’s Alchemy orange essential oil
  • AuraCacia Lemon essential oil
    • I like citrus scents. These are from my office oil collection.

2018 empties #1

  • Frostbeard Book Lovers’ Soy Candle sample in Pumpkin Juice – this was milder than I expected. It has a nice spicy scent and does not linger.
  • Wilfred Wax Steamed & Frothed – one of my favorites. It’s soooo sweet though, a little goes a long way. I will replace this when I run out of my other candles.

video: using things up… Empties #2!

In an effort to make better use of the things I buy, I give you my second Empties video 🙂

Lots of products mentioned here, including health stuff, bath stuff, and some general lifestyle bits. I intended to list them all, but life happened and I lost track of time. So just watch for details and feel free to leave any questions in the comments. 🙂 I’m happy to share my thoughts on all and any products mentioned, or feel free to leave a recommendation.

Apologies for video quality issues, I noticed some blurring as I was editing, but I recycled all the products before I watched the video. Lesson learned.

review: tieks by Gavrieli

Because I finally caved.

I have been looking for a good, investment shoe for a while. I wanted flats to replace my pink Tom’s Camila flats (no longer available, a tragedy), but I wanted something that would be comfortable, sturdy, and long-lasting. I’ve purchase cheap shoes and I’ve purchased mid-range shoes, but I’ve never purchased something as expensive as these.

They came!!!! #tieks

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I did my research. Soooo much research. I watched countless videos, read dozens of blogs, and I vacillated between getting them now or getting them later. In the end, now won out.

I’ll post a review after a few weeks of wear, but my first impression is this:

  • These are sturdy shoes. The construction is solid. The leather sole under the rubber heel and toe is surprisingly tough, and the rubber is really strong too.
  • I watched a few videos on half-sizing (I’m ideally a 10.5, but rarely find shoes in that size). I followed the suggested sizing and went down to the whole size, and they fit just right. Toes are spacey, heel is not strained (we’ll see how they wear).
  • The color is really fair. I went for the ballerina pink and they look just like pointe shoes. Love it.
  • I was a bit concerned that the teal sole and stripe would be too showy, but they aren’t as obvious while worn.
  • The hand-written note is actually a nice touch (I didn’t think such things would sway me). My mom was really impressed, so that’s a thing.
  • And the flower is black and really pretty. But that’s just the icing on the cake.

I wore them at home for an evening (they have a really generous return policy according to reviewers), but they felt right so I decided to take them out this morning.

We are taking them out. #tieks #ballerinapink #iloveflats

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Enjoying them so far :). Just wanted to add my own review. I paid for these, so this is an unbiased opinion, but someone who has issues with shoes in general.

5 things: summer loves

Saying goodbye to summer by sharing some of my summer loves and faves (though it’s still hot as ever in Miami, there’s a sense that the season is changing).

5 things: summer loves

 

First up, my KeepCup! I have the saffron colored one and it makes me so happy. The color looks like a little baby duck and my barista gets a thrill every time I bring it in for a refill.
InkJoy gel pens. Total impulse buy from the campus bookstore. Mine look slightly different because they are a newer model than the ones shown above, but they are amazing. Love the inks, very bright and thick lines. I have the hot pink and neon green ones.
Marimo moss balls. I wanted something different for my home and I was inspired by More Melody’s video on Marimo Moss Care. Easy to care for and they look like little green pets.
RMS Buriti Bronzer. Even though I was less than thrilled when I first received my sample, I soon learned that I just needed to play with the application to get the right color. It has become a total staple in my routine and will probably continue into the autumn for a nice flush and coppery lids.
Lancome Juicy Shaker in Apri-CuteThis has been my color of the summer. It’s not green and it’s not cruelty free, but it has been a total guilty pleasure. I may use it on top of a darker lipstick, but will probably be returning to it next Spring.

vlog: in which I reveal my consumerism

I did it. I filmed an empties video. I’m not a strict lifestyle vlogger, but I do enjoy me some empties videos, and I like the fact that they’re like mini reviews of products rather than brand focused. Also, in moving towards a “minimalist” lifestyle, I am making a concerted effort to use up products, especially items I bought on a whim or just want to finish before moving on to something else. My goal is to get rid of the stuff I’ve accumulated in a strategic way and share my thoughts with others so they can make informed decisions. 🙂

Click through for a list of the products mentioned.

Also, in the spirit of decluttering, I joined Mercari. Currently have two Coach bags listed, if anyone’s interested 🙂.

Continue reading “vlog: in which I reveal my consumerism”

lifestyle: mini haul – detox market and sephora

It’s my birthday next week, so I’ve been a little spendy…

I really wanted to try the Suntegrity 5-in-1 tinted moisturizer sunscreen, but I didn’t want to spend $45 on another natural product that may or may not work for me, so I decided to try the Detox Market sample pack. For $9.99, the Detox Market lets you select up to 5 products to sample. Most of their products are high end, luxe, all natural, eco-concious beauty and skincare, which I’m all for… but I’m not willing to pay high end prices for something that may be all wrong for my skin. Their sample pack is perfect. I ordered the Suntegrity 5-in-1 in the shades Light and Golden Light, the RMS buriti bronzer, the Josh Rosebrook lift spray, and the Kahina eye serum.

Suntegrity 5-in-1 tinted moisturizer

Neither the light nor the golden light work for me. Both shades have an orange cast on my skin and require blending down my neck to look natural… while I like to protect my neck and decollete from the sun, I don’t appreciate having to blend a tinted product into my neckline. My first impression was that it smells and feels just like the Andalou Naturals Anti-Aging BB cream, which I used up last year. That product was not as orange, but I hated the slick feel it left on my skin. Suntegrity reminds me of that. If you have dry skin that isn’t neutral with yellow undertones, this product might work for you.

Verdict: I’ll stick to my current sunscreen options and keep hunting for a natural, tinted product.

RMS buriti bronzer

I like the color of this, but I think it will work best as an eyeshadow rather than a bronzer. I like the coppery shade, but it’s a little too dramatic for my face. I like to keep it subtle and this looks too bronze for cheeks. I really just wanted to sample RMS to see if the formulation worked with my skin. They use coconut in their products and I sometimes have a bad reaction to it, bronzer felt like an easy way to experiment as I tend to be less sensitive along the sides of my face.

Verdict: going to play with it until the sample runs out

Kahina eye serum

Why!??! Why do I have to like this so much?!?! It’s the most expensive product in the batch and I only picked it on a whim because I figured I would never buy it, but I LOVE it. I’ve been using the MyChelle Fabulous Eye Cream, but it’s not my favorite. I have a hard time finding eye products that don’t irritate my eyes and this one is perfect… except its $78.

Verdict: Wish list. I’m definitely getting this when I run out of the MyChelle.

Josh Rosebrook lift

Haven’t tried it yet, but the sample is so small I’m not sure it’s enough to make things happen. Will report back when I try it.

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