July Empties

by Joyce in


I can't believe it is almost August already! I didn't think would finish much this month, but I think I ended up doing an OK job in the end. 

Lush Dreamtime Bath Melt, Lush Celestial Moisturizer, Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel, African Botanics Marula Firming Botanical Body Oil, Malin + Goetz Pepperment Shampoo, Oribe Signature Shampoo, Rouge Bunny Rouge Foundation Sample, Burberry Foundation Sample, Diptyque Eau Rose Sample

Lush Dreamtime Bath Melt, Lush Celestial Moisturizer, Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel, African Botanics Marula Firming Botanical Body Oil, Malin + Goetz Pepperment Shampoo, Oribe Signature Shampoo, Rouge Bunny Rouge Foundation Sample, Burberry Foundation Sample, Diptyque Eau Rose Sample

I've reviewed a number of these items before, and I have to say that I would definitely repurchase Lush Celestial Moisturizer (review) once I use up a few more things as well as the Lush Dreamtime Bath Melt (review). In the end, the Lush Prince Charming (review) scent wasn't one that I want to stick with for a long time, and while I like the African Botanics Marula Firming Botanical Body Oil (review), I really just don't need it right now! 

I've already repurchased Diptyque Eau Rose (which you'll see in a few sample tubes here) as well as the Nars Smudgeproof Eye Primer. 

I liked trying samples of both the Malin + Goetz Peppermint Shampoo and Oribe Signature Shampoo. Both have pleasant, subtle scents and seem to clean my hair nicely. I don't need any shampoo at the moment and generally prefer not to spend more than $15 on shampoo, so we'll see if I ever decide to buy those. (I would rather splurge on some Shu Uemura if I did decide to spend!)

I also realized that a few of the foundation samples I had were dried up! So... remember to use your foundation samples in little pots cause they dry up within a few months. :-P 

Life NK Ultimate Unwind Body Wash & Lotion, dr. dennis gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad, Diptyque Eau Rose

Life NK Ultimate Unwind Body Wash & Lotion, dr. dennis gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad, Diptyque Eau Rose

I am happy to have used up a few more samples as well, even though I didn't really care for the dr. dennis gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad. It was too small for body, and the color was a bit orange, though the sample may have been old. I have a few more, so I'll be testing those for sure. I did like the scent of the Life NK Ultimate Unwind Body Wash, but the lotion was pretty average. Space NK says this range is "Based on a formula of hydrating glycerine with lime, green tea, cardamom and ginger."

What products have you finished this month? Please share in the comments below! :)

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Creamy Summer Bronzers: Soleil Tan de Chanel & Bourjois Bronzing Primer

by Joyce in


A few years back, I watched a Lisa Eldridge video where she created a perfect bronze look using the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, and then I was desperate to get my hands on it. At the time, stores were always sold out, though now it seems more readily available. 

soleiltandechanel

I've hardly used mine over the last two years or so, but last summer a lovely reader asked me how I was liking it after so much hype around the Bourjois Bronzing Primer being a dupe for the Chanel. Since I didn't have access to the Bourjois, she sent me a little sample pot! (I'm so sorry it has taken me THIS long to offer a proper comparison!) 

So, I'm sure you're wondering - is the Bourjois Bronzing Primer an affordable dupe for the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Base? Yes, and no. 

First off, the texture and feel of the two products is entirely different. The Bourjois Bronzing Primer is much creamier, and as a result, easier (for me) to blend. It is supposed to be chocolate scented, though to me it is just strong and artificial and somehow floral. Initially, I wasn't even sure I wanted to have it on my face because of the scent! However, the scent does dissipate after about a half hour, though on one occasion it somehow managed to meld with something else I wore and leave my face smelling like baby wipes... 

Color wise, I do agree that the shades can be reasonable dupes for one another. In my swatches, you can hardly see the difference (is there one?) but on my face I do feel that the Bourjois is slightly cooler and perhaps slightly less orange. 

[Click to Enlarge] Swatches in shade, top to bottom: Bourjois Bronzing Primer, Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel

[Click to Enlarge] Swatches in direct sunlight, top to bottom: Bourjois Bronzing Primer, Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel

On the other hand, the Chanel is much less scented, and the texture has more of a cream to powder feel to it though I wouldn't say it is actually cream to powder. It has a more solid texture than the Bourjois, and perhaps explains why some reviews out there find it hard to blend. In my opinion, it isn't hard to blend, though it does take a few seconds more to do so than with products that are creamier. (Which completely makes sense to me!) 

In the end, I don't know which is better. The Bourjois is now available for $19.05 for US shoppers on ASOS, so that does make it much more manageable than Chanel's $48. It does appear that the Bourjois has less product, though that doesn't matter to me. When it comes down to it, I think the scent may end up being a dealbreaker - though I don't seem to mind it now, I've noticed that I tend not to reach for products with scents I don't like. 

Have you tried either of these cream bronzers? Would you pick the Bourjois or the Chanel?? 

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#14daysofmakeup Challenge Recap

by Joyce in


Two weeks ago, I realized I had barely worn any makeup for the whole month of June. Like maybe a handful of times. So, I decided to challenge myself and wear makeup everyday for two weeks! 

I started off strong, then really didn't do so great the last few days... however, I think Andie over at Techno Cupcake did an awesome job on her challenge! In any event, I thought I would show what I wore and share my thoughts on the products and looks. 

Day 1 - Kevyn Aucoin The Precision Liquid Liner, Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, Guerlain Cils d'Enfer Maxi Lash Mascara, Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Angel*, Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation, Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, Bite Cashmere Lip Cream in Sancerre

Day 1 - Kevyn Aucoin The Precision Liquid Liner, Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, Guerlain Cils d'Enfer Maxi Lash Mascara, Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Angel*, Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation, Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, Bite Cashmere Lip Cream in Sancerre

Day 2 - Tom Ford Illuminating Primer, Lorac 3-in-1 Waterproof Eyeliner, Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, Kevyn Aucoin Eyeshadow Duo, Bourjois Bronzing Primer (sample pot), Guerlain Cils d'Enfer Maxi Lash Mascara, Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

Day 2 - Tom Ford Illuminating Primer, Lorac 3-in-1 Waterproof Eyeliner, Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, Kevyn Aucoin Eyeshadow Duo, Bourjois Bronzing Primer (sample pot), Guerlain Cils d'Enfer Maxi Lash Mascara, Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

Day 1 - Got lots of compliments on Bite Sancerre, and really love the formula. Still not so certain about the applicator, but not too bothered by it. Love the Kevyn Aucoin eyelash curler!

Day 2 - Love the neutral shades in that Kevyn Aucoin eyeshadow duo, and the Tom Ford Illuminating Primer is quite subtle and pretty. Didn't love the scent on the Bourjois Bronzing Primer, which seems to have mixed with the Tom Ford and ended up smelling like baby wipes... 

Day 3 - Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick, Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Khaki, Guerlain Cils d'Enfer MaxiLash Mascara, Japonesque Velvet Touch Eyeshadow

Day 3 - Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick, Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Khaki, Guerlain Cils d'Enfer MaxiLash Mascara, Japonesque Velvet Touch Eyeshadow

Day 4 - Nars NARSisisst Eye Palette, Guerlain Cils d'Enfer MaxiLash Mascara, Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler 

Day 4 - Nars NARSisisst Eye Palette, Guerlain Cils d'Enfer MaxiLash Mascara, Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler 

Day 3 - Haphazardly applied most of these while driving to work. Was reminded how much I love the color of that Japonesque eyeshadow. 

Day 4 - Smudged on a few shadows with mascara and no other makeup. I usually hate wearing eye makeup without anything else, but I got over it. 

Day 5 - I only wore Marcelle BB Cream but this stuff is good! (Review coming soon.) 

Day 6 - Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in OC-2, Chanel Stylo Yeux Eyeliner in Celadon, Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes in E123, Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo in Pravella/Janelle

Day 6 - Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in OC-2, Chanel Stylo Yeux Eyeliner in Celadon, Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes in E123, Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo in Pravella/Janelle

Day 7 - Nars Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base, Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick, Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder, Guerlain Mascara, Lancome Baume in Love, Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes, Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen

Day 7 - Nars Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base, Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick, Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder, Guerlain Mascara, Lancome Baume in Love, Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes, Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen

Day 6 - Love the Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes shade, thought it was hard to apply initially. Enjoyed the summery shade combo of the Kevyn Aucoin duo too! 

Day 7 - Did a nice smokey eye with the Ellis Faas and Tom Ford liquid eyeliner. Really liked the look, and rediscovered my Lancome Baume in Love that I really enjoyed last year! 

Day 8 - Nothing! But, I'm still impressed to have made it a whole week!

Day 9 - Marcelle BB Cream, Kevyn Aucoin Eyeshadow Duo, Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow Duo

Day 9 - Marcelle BB Cream, Kevyn Aucoin Eyeshadow Duo, Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow Duo

Day 10 - NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette, Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes, Guerlain Mascara, Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen

Day 10 - NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette, Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes, Guerlain Mascara, Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen

Day 9 - Those Kevyn Aucoin duos sure come in handy! 

Day 10 - Finally getting the hang of the Ellis Faas pen, and really liking it smudged out with some medium or dark browns. Did I mention that the Tom Ford eyeliner is quite nice? 

Days 11, 12 & 13 - No makeup! Busy packing up for California and relaxing. :) 

Day 14 - Marcelle BB Cream again! 

In the end, I think 11 days of makeup wearing is pretty good, especially since I probably wore makeup that many days total in May and June...

What did you think about #14daysofmakeup? Do you have tips for wearing makeup everyday? Also, I am planning reviews for some of these products, so do let me know if there is anything you want to know more about! :) 

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Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil

by Joyce


Last winter, I fell in love with a little sample of the ever popular Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil, and when I finally used up some skincare this past spring, I decided to take the plunge.

image.jpg

Meant for all skin types, this decently priced product really packs a punch. While regular readers likely know my love for African Botanics oils, this little wonder is just as good and runs at $36 for a 1oz bottle. 

Rosehip oil is supposed to help skin heal - according to Pai's website, "clinical studies show Rosehip is effective at improving the appearance of scars, stretch marks, sun damage and fine lines." I haven't been so scientific in my approach when using this oil, but I love how my skin soaks this in quickly, and I do feel that any breakouts seem to heal well.

I haven't tried other rosehip oils to compare, though this formula is supposed to be more concentrated that others out there. I find the scent of the product to be a bit nutty, like pistachios, though I may just be crazy. I also quite like the dropper style bottle, which makes applying a specific amount quite easy!

Have you tried Pai's Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil or anything else from the brand? Are there any other green beauty brands with amazing oils that I should try? Do let me know in the comments! :)

 

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Summer Shopping!

by Joyce in


I haven't shopped beauty much since summer hit, feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff I apparently have and never use. All of a sudden, I decided to pick up a few things, and I couldn't escape the Space NK deal that was on Gilt at the beginning of the month.

I thought I would share it all with you in a video, despite the gloomy weather and having packed away my lights. Hopefully this isn't too horrible, and please excuse my lopsided eyeshadow, HA!

What have you been picking up lately? I'd love to know! :) 


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Sweeten Your Skin with Lush Brazened Honey

by Joyce in


A few months back, I was totally loving Lush's Catastrophe Cosmetic (review), and when I finished that mask, I knew I had to try another. It was hard to choose, but I thought Brazened Honey would be a great choice to try! 

lush brazened honey fresh face mask review

For fans of Lush, this mask has a honey-floral scent that is vaguely reminiscent of one of their other products. I can't recall which - perhaps the Fair Trade Honey Shampoo? The mask's texture is a bit crumbly, and as it dries down, it definitely hardens like a conventional clay mask. 

Though it is meant for oily and congested skin, this seems to really cleanse the skin in a gentle way. My skin is normal, though perhaps very slightly dehydrated, and I did not feel dry or stripped at all from using this. As you rinse off the mask, it really helps to exfoliate too! 

I am getting pretty close to having another 5 Lush pots to trade in for a mask, and I think I will try Oatifix next! What do you think of Lush's Fresh Face Masks? Do you have a favorite that I should try? I'd love to know! 

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Sample Overload!

by Joyce in


The other day, I decided I just had to do a little purge of my sample stash. Is it just me, or does a good sample or promo code entice you to buy something you don't need off of your never ending wishlist? 

I've definitely gotten better over the years, but I can't seem to keep up with all the samples. I do regularly clear out samples and give them away, but I realized that I needed to do it more. Really, at what point am I going to finish all that full size skincare and desperately need to rifle through some samples? Sure, I'm going to use some here and there, but wouldn't I be better off finding someone who will actually USE up these samples? 

So, I dug around and decided to ditch all of this stuff. Yay. 

samples

After a bit of a chat with Gummy, who is the queen of purging, and Julie applauding me on my efforts, I thought I would share some tips that help me edit my collection, sample or full size! 

Start with Color
So many samples seem to come in only one shade, and we all know that they don't work for everyone. Don't let those samples in the wrong shade sit around the house forever! Do a bit of Googling to see if the shade might work, and if not, add it to the toss pile! Easy peasy, and now you're well on your way! 

Test Scents & Textures
It is a bit more difficult to determine if you like a product's scent or texture, but for the most part I can tell from swatching or at least one use if I like how a product smells or feels. Listen to your instincts and dump the stuff that has too much scent or doesn't have the texture you're looking for. 

Study The Ingredients
Next, I'll take a look at the ingredients. Perhaps it makes more sense to do this first, especially if you have ingredient concerns, but I'm weird and never think of this first! 

Consider Expiration Dates
It pains me to think of how much money I've spent on a product (or how much I've spent to get a sample!), so when I remind myself that these things won't last forever, I'm always encouraged to find them new homes. Think of what you're currently using in your routine, when you'll be done with that, and how likely you are to pick up that sample next. When I realize it may not be a year or two before I finally decide to use that sample size mascara, I definitely reconsider keeping it!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, those samples in pots that you can have made at counters definitely dry out... Who knew! (Kidding!)

Be a Friend! 
And last but not least, if I can't seem to let go, I think of my friends. My best friend might like this lipstick way more than I do, or my coworker could really use every last drop of all those moisturizer samples before they need to spend on high end skincare... You get the idea. I always manage to get rid of more if I'm trying to put together goodies for someone else! 

I hate to admit that all those samples I'm getting rid of hardly make a dent in my sample collection... But hey, you have to start somewhere, right? I hope these tips are helpful for you, and I'd love to know how you edit and purge your stash! :)

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June Recap

by Joyce in


I don't know if you've noticed how quiet I've been this last month or two - exhaustion does not lead me to use many products or have many thoughts about anything, it seems. (LOL!) 

In any event, I've been grumpy over the weather, overwhelmed by my stash, and not shopping much except for a visit to The Makeup Show. I'm still skating, and really enjoying it. I think (hope) I'm improving too, but I didn't manage to get a video this month.

Birthday cupcake! // A good start to #JuneSampleMonth

Birthday cupcake! // A good start to #JuneSampleMonth

Posts This Month: THE LIST ☆ JUNE // JUNE MAKEUP BAG // PROJECT MAKE-A-DENT UPDATE // SUMMER CANDLE MUST HAVE // THE MAKEUP SHOW: THOUGHTS & PURCHASES! // THE MINIMAL OVERNIGHT BAG // ♡ KEVYN AUCOIN SCULPTING POWDER & CREAMY GLOW DUO // MY HAIRCARE ROUTINE

Products I Loved:  I've definitely been enjoying my sample of  By Terry Baume de Rose, though I'm not certain I would purchase a full size. Maybe one of the new tinted varieties, but that would definitely be much much later... I've also been enjoying my NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette and Larger Than Life Eyeliner in Via Veneto even though the Nars eyeshadow formula isn't one of my favorites. 

HUM Nutrition, new to Sephora! // Travel size beauty goodies for Mr. Bunny // My pretty birthday heels! 

HUM Nutrition, new to Sephora! // Travel size beauty goodies for Mr. Bunny // My pretty birthday heels! 

Beauty Purchases: My picks at The Makeup Show were the only things I purchased in June! Woohoo, go me! I've totally been loving my Hakuhodo, though I haven't used them much yet, and I have yet to even try most of the other items. Sounds like classic Joyce behavior!

So now that July is here, I'm trying to catch up on everyone's posts and use products again so I will have something to post about! Perhaps I should challenge myself to wear makeup everyday for the rest of July... Hmm! 

What have you been up to this past month? Anything exciting on your radar?

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June Empties & #JuneSampleMonth Fail

by Joyce in


I was pretty surprised this past month at the number of full size products that I finished. Not bad at all, considering that I went into the month thinking about getting through samples, which I really didn't make much progress on at all! 

Clockwise from lef: Dove Creme Mousse Deep Moisture Body Wash, Origins Zero Oil Cleanser, Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo, Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water, Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner*, Origins A Perfect World SPF 25

Clockwise from lef: Dove Creme Mousse Deep Moisture Body Wash, Origins Zero Oil Cleanser, Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo, Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water, Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner*, Origins A Perfect World SPF 25

Of the items I finished, I know I will be repurchasing the Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water (review), a long time favorite. My fiance really liked the Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo and the Origins Zero Oil Cleanser (review), and I may purchase the cleanser again once I've used up some cleansers in my stash.

I have another tube of the Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Moisturizer, a moisturizer that he has been using and loving, though I'm not certain we would repurchase again once we finish that one. We've gotten tired of the Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner (review) scent, and since I love the concept, I am definitely eyeing their other varieties that were recently released. 

I was quite surprised at how quickly we used up the Dove Creme Mousse Deep Moisture Body Wash (review), but I think everyone was a fan. I definitely think this affordable body wash is worth repurchasing, and will definitely buy it again when winter hits or I need more body wash.

On the other hand, I did a terrible job when it comes to #JuneSampleMonth. I won't make excuses but the other ladies participating sure did a better job than I did! Check out their posts here: Gummy Vision, Jules Darling. Anyways, here are the samples that I finished. 

#JuneSampleMonth

I can't believe I only finished FOUR measly samples! And actually, my fiance used two of them, so I hardly used up anything! I did start a number of others, though I gave up on a few that I can't even find and are still working on a few others... I will definitely have to revisit this again soon. Maybe July...? 

At any rate, of the two samples I tried, I liked the texture of the Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub. Every time I try something from this line, I'm quite impressed by the quality for the price, though at this point I have no need for any more scrubs!  Yes, the line is for men, but who really cares? There seem to be some gems in that brand's lineup. :)

The other sample I used was the Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm, which I've sampled before and have a small tub from a kit that I purchased in the winter. I think this stuff is quite nice, though I'm not sure how well it would work for those with oily skin types. I find that my skin just feels smooth and looks clear and even after I use it. It has a creamy mud sort of texture, and definitely needs a cloth to remove if you don't want any oily residue. 

All in all, I'm pretty happy with my empties but horrified at my pathetic attempt to use up some samples. Oh, I definitely tossed some that were hanging around that I knew were old while cleaning house, but I clearly did not try as hard this time around as I did last October! 

What did you use up in June? Have you tried any of these products? Did you manage to get through any samples this past month? I'd love to know! 

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My Haircare Routine

by Joyce in


I never really thought I was a hair product kind of girl, but as it turns out, I've been collecting hair products all year! No girl that doesn’t care about hair could possibly have this much Oribe… not to mention everything else! 

Phyto Phytoneutre Clarifying Detox Shampoo, Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo, Serge Normant Meta Velour Conditioner

The Daily Cleanse
My Picks: Phyto // Serge Normant  
I never was very picky about shampoo, but these last few months I've been loving these high end shampoos. Perhaps it is because my hair is getting longer, but I am really loving the difference. I've mentioned the Phyto Clarifying Detox Shampoo before, but I just love how fresh and minty it is in the morning. Plus, it really makes my scalp feel normal and balanced, and seems to keep my hair cleaner for much longer.

Similarly, the Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo and Meta Velour Conditioner keep my hair looking good even on day three, which is totally not the norm for me. It has a unique scent I can't seem to describe but my fiance likes a lot! I do find that this shampoo isn't really detangling, but using the conditioner with it makes my hair manageable and normal. Also interesting to note is that you can use both the shampoo and conditioner daily, which also works just fine for me. I've also been playing around with some shampoo samples from brands like Oribe, Malin & Goetz, and Bumble & Bumble. 

Oribe Maximista, Bumble & Bumble Thickening Mousse, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day, Living Proof Full Thickening Cream

The Volumizers
My Picks: Oribe Maximista // Bumble & Bumble Thickening Mousse // Living Proof Perfect Hair Day // Living Proof Full Thickening Cream
I always like trying out volumizing products, and Oribe Maximista & Bumble's Thickening Mousse are the newest products in my collection. I haven't used the Oribe enough to properly review it, and my general impressions on Bumble's is that it works, but is slightly sticky. Definitely need to use both more often to share more thoughts on them. 

On the other hand, I'e always been a fan of Living Proof, a brand that is not so horribly expensive and is easily accessible in the US. I love the scent of Living Proof products, and both Perfect Hair Day and the Full Thickening Cream are non-sticky and weightless in my hair. I love how both of these products give my hair volume and help it look as if I've actually done something to make my hair look nice. 

Lush Sea Spray, Oscar Blandi Invisible Dry Shampoo  

Next Day Hair
My Picks: Lush Sea Spray // Oscar Blandi Invisible Dry Shampoo  
Last summer, I discovered Lush's Sea Spray, a citrusy concoction that kept my manageable second day hair looking and smelling nice. (Original review here) I also rediscovered my love for Oscar Blandi Invisble Dry Shampoo (review), a product I had been using for a long time but didn't really think much of until I ran out!

Bumble & Bumble Cityswept Finish, Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, Oribe Impermeable Anti-Humidy Spray 

Finishing Sprays
My Picks: Bumble & Bumble Cityswept Finish // Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray // Oribe Impermeable Anti-Humidy Spray 
Now I usually don't make it to the step of using a finishing spray, but I'd like to think I will. Suffice to say, I've only used each of these products once in all the time that I've had them. The Oribe smells good, and I wonder if the Bumble isn't quite right for my hair type, but really, I need to use these way more! 

Finally, I'm a bit horrified to report that I have a whole bin of hair product samples to use besides these. Where did they all even come from?! Yup, I’ve officially joined the ranks of the hair obsessed. Now what miracle hair product should I try next?? 

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