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Hello, hello!

Today I have a little review of the Blending Sponge from Quo – a brand that is carried at Pharmaprix / Shopper’s Drug Mart. I needed to replace both of my makeup sponges, but figured that I would just buy one first to see how I liked it. [info in italics taken from the Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutique website]

Blend your way to a flawless finish with this latex-free sponge. It enables precision application of cream and liquid foundations especially around nose and eye area.

I’ve never tried the official Beauty Blender, so I can’t comment on how the Quo Blending Sponge compares, but I have tried and reviewed sponges from Real Techniques and Crown Brush

The Quo Blending Sponge is very soft, yet bouncy. I’ve mainly been using this blending sponge for concealer – both for my under eye and anywhere I need some extra coverage. I like the pointed end for blending out my Becca Brightening Under Eye concealer.

The price was good too – less than $10 CAD! All in all, I really like this one!

Thanks for reading,

Disclosure: I purchased this!

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Hello, hello!

Today I have a review of the fairly new Exhibitionist Waterproof Mascara from Covergirl. [info in italics taken from the Covergirl Canada website]

With COVERGIRL’s NEW Exhibitionist volumizing mascara, lashes are full and defined after only one coat. Our volumizing mascara formula glides smoothly onto lashes. Get soft lashes with no flaking or smudging. Show-stopping volume Lashes are full and defined after only one coat Formula glides smoothly onto lashes – soft lashes, no flaking, no smudging 

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll know that I am so very picky when it comes to my mascara because I have long, stick straight lashes, that are light in colour despite being a natural dark brunette so I curl my lashes before I apply mascara or else it looks like I barely have any lashes. And, my eyes are quite sensitive. Add to that the fact that my eyes water easily, so any mascara that I use must be smudge-proof and water-resistant (or waterproof) or else I’ll be in a huge mess!

I have seven requirements for a mascara, and I’ll comment on each requirement and score each point. So how did Covergirl’s Exhibitionist Waterproof Mascara measure up?

1. waterproof +1 point

2. smudge-proof +1 point, no smudging!

3. non-flaking / non-clumping +1 point, no flaking or clumping!

4. must be DARK black (not blackish, not brown black, and definitely not grey black) +1 point, this mascara is super mega black (yay!)

5. volumizing +3/4 point,  I got decent volume but not amazing volume with one coat, two coats gives better volume, but for daily wear, I tend to stick to one coat.

6. must hold a curl +3/4 point, it held a curl for me pretty well (but not awesomely well), and no droopy lashes.

7. non-irritating to my sensitive eyes +1 point

So out of 7 points, I would give this one a solid 6.5!

Have you tried this mascara?

Thanks for reading,

Disclosure: I purchased this mascara!

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Hello, hello!

I was sent the Love Your Curls Discovery Kit (the Smart Curls line) from the team at EVOLVh – it is a four piece set that contains shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner and styling lotion in their new packaging. This four piece kit works together to give your hair soft, frizz-free curls. They are sulfate free, paraben free, gluten free, colour safe, cruelty free and vegan! [info in italics taken from the EVOLVh website]

SmartCurl Hydrating Wash & Conditioner gently cleanse, moisturize and condition the hair to prepare for the perfect curl.

SmartStart Leave-In Conditioner is a game changer for reducing frizz, adding moisture and softness without added weight.

Ultimate Styling Lotion has been dubbed “ringlets in a bottle” by stylist and clients.  The 5-In-One botanical formula creates volume, holds style, de-frizzes, adds shine and or defines curls into smooth ringlets.

I’ve previously  reviewed (and LOVED) the Ultimate Styling Lotion so today’s review will concentrate on the other three products. As you all know, my hair is wavy, fairly thick, and prone to frizz.

The SmartCurl Hydrating Wash & Conditioner:

Our passion for curls reveals itself in our dream-come-true wash for curly hair, made with the finest natural & organic ingredients. It gently cleanses without stripping beneficial oils, and infuses essential nutrients for increased strength, shine, softness, and maximum hydration, resulting in easy to manage, soft frizz-free curls.

The ultimate hydrating conditioner for every curl type – resulting in the smoothest hair you’ve ever had with increased strength, shine, softness and curl formation. Simply dreamy is an understatement. 

Both have a light, fresh scent – I can’t pinpoint exactly what they smell like, but I do like it, and it isn’t over-scented (a huge plus in my opinion). After using the shampoo and conditioner for a few weeks, that my hair is so soft and shiny, and way more manageable.

The leave-in conditioner:

Nourish and detangle with this weightless creamy formula specifically designed for all curly hair.   The addition of shea butter and coconut oil provide additional hydration and fatty acids for rich curl smoothness   Strengthens strands, eliminates frizz & flyaways, and prevents breakage while protecting from heat and UV damage.  The ultimate hair preparation after showering, and before using our curls styling products.

This makes combing my hair out after washing so much easier. I love that it is also a heat and UV protectant, while also helping to manage frizz and flyaways. It gives an added hydration boost without weighing my hair down or making it feel gross.

The Discovery Kits are a great way to try out a full system without committing to full size products. And they are perfect sizes for travelling! There are three other Discovery Kits available: Turn Up the Volume, Keep it Smooth, and Protect Your Color.

Have you tried anything from EVOLVh?

Thanks for reading

Disclosure: In case you missed it at the beginning, these products were sent to me to try out. I was not paid for this review. My opinions (and troublesome hair) are entirely my own!

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Hello, hello!

Today I’m reviewing the Antioxidant Serum from Juice Beauty that came in my April Petit Vour box. [info in italics taken from Petit Vour website]

Clinically proven to help reduce free radicals up to 87%, this lightweight serum feeds your skin with vitamins and antioxidants from certified organic botanical juices, moisturizes with fatty acid-packed plant oils and smoothes the appearance of fine lines with peptides, alpha lipoic acid and CoQ10. The perfect daily vitamin to use after cleansing and before your moisturizer. A Daily Essential for all skin types.

This is a very lightweight and hydrating serum that soaks into my skin quickly. You don’t need a lot to cover your entire face and neck. It works well with other products – moisturizer / face cream, sunscreen and foundations. I’ve been using it both morning and night for a few weeks now, and I have to say that I really love it, and will be adding it to my wishlist.

It has tons of skin friendly hydrating and skin firming ingredients. Very gentle on my sensitive skin.

100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan | Organic juicesof vitis vinifera (organic white grape juice)*, citrus aurantium dulcis (organic orange juice)*, aloe barbadensis (organic aloe juice)*,vegetable glycerin, saccharomyces cerevisiae extract, gluconolactone, sodium benzoate, lysolecithin, sclerotium gum, xanthan gum, organic essential fatty acids of oenothera biennis (organic evening primrose oil)*, linum usitatissimum (organic linseed oil)*, borago officinalis (organic borage seed oil)*, amyris balsamifera (organic rosewood oil)*, vitis vinifera (grape seed oil), pullulan, organic algae extract, tocopherol (Vitamin E), magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (Vitamin C), ubiquinone (CoQ10), thioctic acid (alpha lipoic acid), dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), sodium hyaluronate (vegetable hyaluronic acid), sodium hydroxide, tetrasodium glutamate diacetate, litsea cubeba (organic may chang) pure essential oil*certified organic

Have you tried this serum?

Thanks for reading

Disclosure: This came in my Petit Vour subscription that I pay for.

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Hello, hello!

May is Skin Cancer Awareness month, so it is the perfect time to share the PR package that I received from LASPA Sun Care Naturals and PK Communications.

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you will recall that I received a beautiful package from them last year as well. LASPA is a Canadian company that specializes in natural suncare products, more specifically mineral sunscreens. [info in italics taken from the LASPA website and press release]

This year’s package contained their two newly reformulated sunscreens – the Moisturizing Mineral Sunscreen SPF30 (for face and sensitive areas), and the Daily Sun Protection Mineral Sunscreen SPF20, as well as the new SPF 50 Ultra Sun Protection Stick (with tint), and a cute little fanny pack to carry your sunscreen with you!

These mineral sunscreens are clinically tested, hypoallergenic, chemical free, fragrance free, paraben free, gluten free, and reef safe, and are made for all skin types, especially sensitive ones. And they are cruelty free.

The new formulation contains a unique SPF blend, LASPA keeps skin smooth and protected by using essential oils, plant materials, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to deliver a translucent, non-greasy result. LASPA has added antioxidants to reduce inflammation and to prevent skin cell damage.

Benefits of Mineral Sunscreens:

  •  Zinc Oxide provides a broad spectrum protection against both UVA/UVB rays whereas chemical filters don’t necessarily provide this function
  • Zinc Oxide is effective immediately upon application, whereas chemical filters need approximately 20 minutes to be absorbed
  • Zinc Oxide reduces or eliminates the risk of allergies or skin irritation that can be caused by the chemicals used in chemical sun filters
  • Zinc Oxide avoids the risk of health issues that have been documented concerning the cumulative effects of chemical sunscreen ingredients on reproductive health 

Let’s take a closer look at each one:

LASPA SPF30 Moisturizing Mineral Sunscreen Sensitive Skin – Face and Neck (80 ml / 2.7 oz, $40 CAD)

Formulated with a unique SPF blend, LASPA keeps skin smooth and protected by using essential oils, plant materials, zinc oxide to deliver a translucent, non-greasy result. LASPA has added antioxidants to reduce inflammation and to prevent skin cell damage. None of LASPA products contain harmful chemicals such as parabens, artificial fragrance or colours, or chemical UVA/UVB filters.

Right away I could see and feel that the revised formulation is a lot silkier and smoother texture-wise. It can be worn with or without makeup, and no white cast! I really like this one for the face, neck and chest. It feels very light and silky when applied, and a little goes a long way!

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 20%  Inactive Ingredients: Isoamyl Cocoate (Plant Derived), Organic Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Extract), Organic Cera alba (beeswax)*, Organic Copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax*, Sorbitan Sesquioleate (Plant Derived), Organic Persea gratissima (avocado) oil*, Tocopherol, Bisabolol, Organic Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract

LASPA SPF20 Daily Sun Protection Mineral Sunscreen Lotion (125 ml / 4.2 oz, $44 CAD)

Used as a daily regime for under makeup or all over body, it moisturizes the skin with organic coconut oil, and counteracts the aging and damaging effects of the sun rays with vitamin E.

Like the SPF 30, the revised formulation is smoother and silkier than the original version. I’ve used it both on my body and on my face, and it does not leave a white cast. It plays nicely with makeup. I do prefer to use the SPF30 for my face, and this one for my body.

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 14% Inactive Ingredients: beeswax, bisabolol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, certified organic cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax, isoamyl cocoate, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, tocopherols

LASPA SPF50 Ultra Sun Protection Stick (14 g / 0.50 oz, $18 CAD)

Providing the Ultimate Sun Protection, this SPF50 stick is pocket size and perfect for use in conjunction with our SPF30 as a touch up for the T-zone, or heavily exposed areas. Our SPF50 contains zinc and titanium dioxide plus 95.7% certified organic ingredients to provide 98% broad spectrum protection. Vitamin D and E are added for protecting and repairing the skin.

The SPF50 stick is great to keep in your bag for touch-ups. It has a tint, which at first I though would be too dark for me, but it blends in and looks completely natural, so it can be used on the face (and even on the body) as it blends in easily. I’ll be taking this one everywhere with me all summer.

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 25% Titanium Dioxide 3.8% Ingredients: Organic Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, Zinc Oxide, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Organic beeswax, Organic Theobroma Cacao Butter, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Titanium dioxide , Copernicia cerifera(carnauba) wax, Tocopherol, Iron oxide, Silica , Jojoba esters, Organic Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf extract, Cholecalciferol

This line of mineral sunscreens is perfect for all skin types, especially sensitive ones. I love that they are fragrance free (which is quite often of of the biggest triggers for sensitivity).

I am sure that you know that sunscreen should ALWAYS be worn to reduce your risk of skin cancer, but I’m telling you again! As an added bonus, you will reduce early aging caused by UV exposure (wrinkles, sunspots). Please wear your sunscreen!

Thanks for reading

Disclosure: In case you totally missed it at the beginning of my blog post, this review contains PR samples, but I was not paid to do this review. My sensitive skin and opinions are entirely my own.

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Hello, hello!

Today I have a review of the Blissoma Refine Clay Renewal Treatment that came in my April Petit Vour box. [info in italics taken from the Petit Vour website]

The mask base is Rhassoul clay, mined from lava clay beds in Morocco. […]  Rhassoul has been shown to improve the appearance of skin flakiness and texture, improve hydration, improve the appearance of coloration, and improve the appearance of skin irritations.[…] Willowbark and raw organic Celery Juice aid with gentle, non mechanical exfoliation to keep pores deeply cleansed and unclogged. Live enzymes and mild compounds like the salicins in Willowbark gently dissolve away dead skin cells even without scrubbing. Herb extracts of organic Chickweed and Fennel further draw out impurities and deep clean pores. Organic Roses, Olive Leaf, and Echinacea improve the appearance of skin’s tone and firmness.

This mask is highly recommended for troubled and acne prone skin types. Refine keeps pores softened and open by removing dead skin cells and balancing hydration. You can dot it on a blemish and leave it on overnight to reduce the visible appearance of redness and swelling in breakouts. Unrefined Oils of organic Cranberry seed and organic Red Raspberry straight from pressing offer nourishment and natural source Vitamin E. Clay products are often not recommended for dry skin types because they tend to over-absorb oil from the skin, leaving skin uncomfortable. With Refine even dry skin types can enjoy Blissoma’s clay creation because of how they have balanced the clay with oils and liquid herb extracts.

It is no secret that I love facial masks, and this one definitely does not disappoint! It really works to deep clean my sensitive skin without causing it to dry out or become irritated. And it works amazingly well as an emergency spot treatment when a surprise pimple pops up! I think that this facial mask would probably work for all skin types, unless you have an allergy or sensitivity to one of the ingredients.

Ingredients 100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan | Aqueous Infusion Of Foeniculum Vulgare* (Fennel) Fruit, Stellaria Media* (Chickweed) Leaf, Lavandula Angustifolia* (Lavender) Flower, Rosa Damascena* (Roses), Porphyra Umbilicalis* (Nori Seaweed), Ruscus Aculeatus* (Butcher’s Broom) Root, Rhassoul Clay, Apium Graveolens* (Celery) Juice, Cocos Nucifera* (Coconut) Oil, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Citrullus Lanatus* (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Zinc Oxide*, Squalane, Extracts Of Glycyrrhiza Glabra* (Licorice) Root, Symphytum Officinale* (Comfrey) Root/Leaf, And Salix Alba* (Willow) Bark, Populus Tremuloides (Aspen) Bark Extract, Gluconolactone, Cetearyl Alcohol And Cetearyl Glucoside, Extracts Of Olea Europaea* (Olive) Leaf, Echinacea Purpurea* Root, And Caldendula Officinalis* Flower, Essential Oils Of Litsea Cubeba Fruit, Commiphora Myrrha, Pelargonium Roseum (Rose Geranium), Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin) Peel, Lavandula Angustifolia, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli), Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Seed, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood), Grain Alcohol*+, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract*, Helianthus Annuus* (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum

Thanks for reading

Disclosure: This came in my Petit Vour subscription that I pay for.

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Hello, hello!

Today I’m reviewing the Active Face wash from EiR NYC that came in my April Petit Vour box. [info in italics taken from Petit Vour]

Made with an ancient recipe of African black soap, this face wash is an epidermal skin revival system that exfoliates, minimizes scarring, and brings breakouts to a screeching halt. Also, a great solution to stubborn zinc sun protection on the face.

I have to say that this cleanser is the most unappealing looking facial wash that I’ve ever used – it looks like muddy water in the package. And when you shake it up, it comes out as a dirty looking foam.

But don’t let that stop you from trying out this face wash because it is ALL KINDS OF AWESOME! It is gentle on my sensitive skin, and makes my face feel deeply cleansed without being drying. And despite how it looks, it has the most wonderful scent (without being over-scented or perfumey) likely due to the combination of lavender, ylang ylang, geranium, sage and cammomile essential oils.

Ingredients 100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan | Water, Shea Butter, Shea Tree Bark Ash, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Pods Ash, Plantain Ash, Coconut Oil, Sustainable Palm Oil, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Rose, Geranium, Sage, Chamomile Essential Oil Blend 

Have you tried this one?

Thanks for reading

Disclosure: This came in my Petit Vour subscription that I pay for.

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Hello, hello!

Today I have a review of the Caley Cosmetics Beach Babe Natural Bows, as well as comparison swatches with the other brow pencils and gels in my stash. [info in italics taken form Petit Vour]

Perfect brows are an easy breeze with this ultra-fine natural brow pencil. Create any shape you wish with this easy to use defining pencil that mimics the look of natural hair. Transform fussy or shapeless brows with tamed precision by filling in sparse hairs and outlining the size and shape with perfect symmetry.

This brow pencil is available in four different shades: blond (light ashy brown), auburn (rich brown with a red tint), brunette (medium brown with warm undertones) and dark (dark brown with cool undertones). I received the brunette shade.

The pencil is soft and easy to apply, and wears well. However, the brunette shade seems really red toned on me compared with my usual brow pencils.

As you can see in the comparison shots – from top to bottom: Caley Cosmetics Beach Babe Natural Brow in Brunette, Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow in Medium Brown, Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil in Dark Brown, and Eye of Horus Brow Define in Dynasty

I think that the dark shade would have been a better match for me. I will use the Beach Babe Natural Brow pencil, but more than likely I will use it in conjunction with my darker toned pencils.

Ingredients: 100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan | Jojoba Seed Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Abyssinian Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Candelilla Wax, Elderberry Extract, Watermelon Seed Oil, Papaya Seed Oil, Pineapple Fruit, Hibiscus Flower Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Mango Extract, Jasmine Oil, [+/- Mica (77019), Titanium Dioxide (77891), Iron Oxide (77491, 77492, 77499), Tin Oxide (778161, 77499), Kaolin.

Thanks for reading

Disclosure: This came in my Petit Vour subscription box that I pay for.

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Hello, hello!

I finally picked up my Sephora Beauty Insider annual birthday gift. There was a choice between a Kat Von D kit and the Drunk Elephant kit. Since I’ve head so much about how awesome the Drunk Elephant line is, I knew that I had to choose that one! [info in italics taken from the Sephora website]

The kit contains two samples: Mini Protini Polypeptide Cream & Mini Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser.

Let’s take a look at the Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer:

What it is:
A protein moisturizer that combines an unprecedented array and concentration of actives for improvement in the appearance of skin’s tone, texture, and firmness.
Solutions for:
– Loss of firmness and elasticity 
– Dryness 
– Dullness and uneven texture 
Protini’s proprietary formula delivers revived, younger-looking skin, almost from the first application. Lines, wrinkles, and signs of sun-damage appear reduced, while depleted skin feels strengthened and moisturized. 

This moisturizer is super lightweight, almost gel like in texture, and it sinks into my skin quickly, but at the same time it is very hydrating. It works well with my foundation and powder too. I really like this moisturizer, and I can see how long term use could be really beneficial.

Now onto the Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser:

An innovative jelly cleanser that removes all traces of makeup, excess oil, pollution, and any other grime from the day. Free of SLS, fragrance, and essential oils, Beste No. 9 is totally non-irritating, non-sensitizing, and appropriate for all skin. 
Solutions for:
– Oiliness
– Makeup removal 
If you want to know more…
With a unique blend of mild surfactants and makeup-dissolving emollients, this gentle formula rinses away without an ounce of residue, leaving skin clean and soft. 

This is such a great cleanser, very gentle and perfect for my sensitive skin. It removes makeup easily and doesn’t make my skin feel dry or irritated. I can see this cleanser working for every skin type.

Have you tried anything from Drunk Elephant?

Thanks for reading

Disclosure: Free Sephora Beauty Insider annual birthday gift.

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Hello, hello!

Another month just flew by, and I managed to finish up a fair number of products in my stash. Let’s take a look and I’ll tell you if I plan to re-buy or not, and link you to the original reviews.

Hair, Bath and Body:

Alba Botanicals Hawaiian Body Cream – I LOVE this stuff so much, it smells amazing, and is super luxurious and hydrating. And, it is very affordable. I’ll likely buy this one very soon. Review is here.

Attitude Super Leaves Volume & Shine Shampoo – Another great shampoo from Attitude. I will probably buy this (or another one from their range) at some point –  especially because they now have bulk packaging so you can just refill your bottles and save on plastic. I don’t need to repurchase right away as I’m still using my shampoo and conditioner from Oneka. Review is here.

Andalou Naturals Citrus Sunflower Shower Gel – Another gem from my Petit Vour subscription. I really liked this one, so I would buy a full size once my stash is cleared out. Review is here.

Skincare and Mini Project Pan Update:

Pacifica Quinoa Sensitive Super Gentle Face Wash – I really liked this one a lot, so good for sensitive skin. I have several cleansers to use up, so no plans to repurchase right away. Review is here.

Goldfaden MD Bright Eyes Eye Cream – Another Petit Vour gem! Really great brightening eye cream, I use it daily, and have another deluxe sample in my stash, so no need to purchase a full size right now. Review is here.

Lowen’s Natural Skincare Lip Balms in Funky Cold Camelina and Creamsicle – These came in a beautiful PR package. I am a lip balm addict, and I absolutely loved these two. I have a few more from Lowen’s so I don’t need to purchase replacements right now. I’m currently using the Be Local Lip Balm from Lowen’s. Review is here.

Mini Project Pan – Serum Stash Empties and Update: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid and Ascorbyl Glucoside – I was able to successfully finish these two from mini project pan.  The Argireline Solution has just under 1/8 left to use up, and the Caffeine Solution has just under 1/4 left to use up. They will hopefully be in my May Empties. No plans to repurchase right now, I’d like to try some other brands.

Makeup De-Stash / De-Clutter:

Urban Decay Lipstick in Fiend – This was nearly finished, but it was so old, and was definitely going off. It was one of my fave MLBB lipstick shades. I don’t even think that this shade exists anymore!

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella – I got this back when Nars was cruelty free, possibly in one of the Beauty Insider annual birthday gifts. It is quite old and had started to dry out.

Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara – Another Petit Vour find. I liked how this mascara made my lashes feel, but my eyes are too watery for this mascara so it just is not the one for me. Review is here.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil in Perversion – I’ve been using this and the shade Zero for a million years (repurchased several times). This one is quite old and is dried out, so into the bin it goes. I have a ton of black liners in my stash, so no need to repurchase right now. I’m currently using the Rodial Smokey Eye Pen.

There you have it, all the empties and de-stash for this month! Have you finished up much this month? Do you ever de-stash / de-clutter?

Thanks for reading

Disclosure: This blog post contains a mix of products – mostly purchased by me, but some are PR samples (as indicated above). However, my opinion is my own, regardless.

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