Empties – April 2015

Just like in YouTube videos, I thought it would be cool if I added my monthly empties into a blog post. Empties are some of my favorite videos to watch on YouTube because it shows what products people are actually using. YouTube gurus are sent so many products that are “hauled” and shown in Get Ready With Me’s just for the sake of showing the product to their subscribers,  but empties videos prove that they used an entire product, often times ones they purchased themselves.

Curly Sexy Hair Color Safe Curl Defining Conditioner
I like this conditioner enough to purchase it when it’s on sale during Ulta’s semi-annual liter sales, but I don’t consider it a holy grail product. This conditioner isn’t as thick as I’d like it to be and it doesn’t always detangle the best, but it does do a good job at moisturizing and keeping the frizz at bay. I may repurchase this during the summer sale, but I’m working through a couple other conditioners at the moment that I’m liking more that the Curly Sexy Hair one.

Curly Sexy Hair Curling Creme
This is my holy grail hair product. I can almost always get a good hair day when I use this product. I’ve been using it consistently for over two years now and I highly suggest giving it a try. I will say, that my hair can get limp because of the protein ingredient, but after a good cleanse of my hair and maybe switching it out for a few days, my hair goes right back to loving it.

E.L.F. Tinted Moisurizer SPF 20 in nude
I’ve been trying to use this product up for a while now so I started mixing it in with my foundations that have a higher coverage. I didn’t really like this and I don’t plan on repurchasing it, I just wanted to use it up. I have other tinted moisturizers and BB creams that I perform better than this one and that I like more. It is a good option if you’re on a budget, need some SPF with coverage, and it’s affordable.

Inecto Pure Coconut Moisture Infusing Conditioner
I bought this while visiting Iceland this past January at a little drugstore near our hotel. It was one of the few brands in the drugstore that I didn’t recognize and also was silicone free so I could use it as a cowash. I loved the smell of it and loved it as a cowash, but it was a little too thin in consistenty for me to use all over my hair. I tried it once to condition and detangle, and it didn’t get the job done. Personally, I wouldn’t repurchase it since there’s other conditioners I prefer for cowashing. If you’re from the U.K. or this is readily available near you and you’re looking for a cowash, I’d give it a try.

L’Oreal EverCreme Sulfate-Free Moisture System Deep Nourishing Masque*
This is a great deep conditioner, that has unfortunately been discontinue from the line. This used to be readily available in stores, then I heard great things about it from various reviews, and bought it from Amazon. As much as I like this product and what it does to my hair, because it’s been discontinued, the price of it on Amazon is too inflated for me to justify repurchasing it. I have a new deep conditioner that I’ve been loving which you can read about in my April Favorites.

Maybelline Volume Express The Rocket Mascara – Blackest Black*
I’ve the used the waterproof version of this mascara for a while now as I need it to keep my lashes curled and I love it, so I tried this out expecting it to be just as good. I didn’t love it though and I don’t plan on repurchasing it.

Neutrogena Body Acne Spray*
This may be a bit of an over share, but I get breakouts on my back and upper chest, enough so that I need to treat it. A lot of the breakouts come from sweat trapped underneath my sports bra or a tight workout top. That being said, the quicker you can get out of your sweaty workout clothes, the better, but I know that’s not always the case. I use this spray, usually in the spring and summer months, after I shower especially after a workout. At the moment, I won’t be repurchasing this. Instead I asked my dermatologist for a prescription when I was in for a check-up, and that seems to be doing the job. I actually re-purposed the bottle this product comes in for the prescription prescribed to me because the bottle sprays at most angles, including upside so I can get to my back easier. Extra points for recycling!

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover and Makeup Remover Towelettes
These two products together are the full proof way to get all of your makeup off, including waterproof mascara. I use waterproof mascara everyday, so I need to use these two products every time I wear mascara and they don’t bother my skin or irritate my eye area. I purchase the towelettes at Costco in bulk and you can always find a deal at the drugstore for Neutrogena products.

OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener Original Formula
I love this nail strengthener. I’ve been using it a year now and my nails are finally long enough to look like they have a French manicure on them. My nails used to peel and I would have to always trim my nails downs hoping they would grow. I highly recommend this if you want to grow your nails out; I’ve already repurchased it and have it on backup. Be sure to get the original formula. I’ve tried some of the other formulas and I haven’t been impressed.

St. Ives Naturally Smoothing Oatmeal and Shea Butter Body Lotion*
I purchased this on a sale, probably BOGO free since there’s usually a great deal at the drugstore every couple of weeks. I like the scent of this lotion and how it makes my skin feel. I didn’t purchase this lotion, instead switching to an Aveeno unscented lotion that is supposed to be more gentle on skin. I don’t notice any difference between a scented or unscented lotion on my skin, so I’ll probably just keep switching between whatever is one sale at the store. It usually takes me a while to get through a bottle of lotion because I always forget to use it after a shower, but I’ve been keeping up with the extra step in my routine.

Suave Professionals Almond and Shea Butter Conditioner*
Love this stuff. It’s been working so well for my hair, that when it was on sale I purchased two backups. It smells nice, has a good consistency for detangling and moisturizing, and is so affordable. It’s not curly girl friendly, for those that are strict, but it doesn’t bother me or the health of my hair.

* affiliate links used

My Shampoo Dilemma

I’ve been having trouble looking for a good shampoo for my hair.  My hair is very curly, and therefore dry so shampooing isn’t something I usually do to my hair on a regular basis.  When I do, though, I want it to be good for my hair just like when I condition it.

The problem with most shampoos, drugstore or salon quality, they all have sulfates and sodium in them.  Sulfates, while they do a good job at cleansing the hair and scalp, they are also very drying and stripping on the hair.

If you have oily hair, you probably hate how your hair gets after a day or two of not washing, so you shampoo and voila it’s back to being clean.  The sulfates in the shampoo take away that oil build-up in your hair.  For those with curly hair, shampooing can take away any residue build-up (like silicones), but it makes their hair very dry and in the end, frizzy.

For the past six months or so I’ve simply been using baby shampoo.  It still has sulfate in it, but the formula is very mild since it’s made for a baby’s skin.  I use this about two times a week and I don’t really see a problem with my hair after using it.  This morning, and maybe twice a month, I use Neutrogena The Anti-Residue Shampoo to clarify and really clean my hair out.  I find that it really works,  but it leaves my hair super dry.

neutrogena shampoo

In a past couple of posts about my hair, I’ve mentioned DevaCurl which is made specifically for people with curly.  My problem with that, and other products geared towards curly hair, is the price.  Many normal sized products from that line range from $18 to $25; that’s outrageous.  However, it’s starting to look like I’m going to have to bite the bullet and buy their No Poo cleanser.  I can’t believe I’m thinking of buying this because I won’t even buy their conditioner.  I figure though that if I only use the No Poo once or twice a week, I won’t go through the bottle very quickly unlike conditioner, which I use everyday.

Other shampoos I had looked at because they were suppose to be sulfate free.  I read a lot of reviews on Makeup Alley and Amazon and came to conclusions on the following products because of them.  I also check the brands’ websites for ingredients and claims.

Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo
pure renewal
My problem with this shampoo is that it has dimethicone in it.  I use dimethicone in some of my styling products and I need a shampoo to remove it, not add to the problem.  So Sulfate Free, yes, but kind of counteractive in my opinion.

Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo and Repairing Awapuhi Ginger Shampooo
I read a lot of reviews that the Organix shampoos are almost as drying as a clarifying shampoo.  I had high hopes for this brand because of the many options to chose from, but they still has forms of a sulfates in their ingredients listing.  Also the Acai shampoo has dimethicone in it.

Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo and Wash Tear Free
burts bees
This is honestly still in the playing cards with me.  I might go searching for it in stores.  A lot of reviews say the scent is quite strong, same problem with DevaCurl.  The scent is likely a “natural” scent from the ingredients that most people aren’t used to smelling in beauty products.

Let me know if you have any suggestions on a shampoo I should try!  My goal is to find one in the next week or so.