You guys...it's been one month since I started my New Year, No New Beauty challenge and I'm SO happy to report I already have 19 empties!!
I still can't believe I went through that many bottles. Granted, almost 50% of them were half used, but I committed to only using those products so I can finish them before I move on to others.
I feel so much better about this challenge than I did when I first started it. I honestly believe I'll be able to get through the rest of the year with no problems!
In January I was able to finish products in a lot of different categories – 8 skincare products, 6 haircare products, and 5 makeup products. You can find my honest review on every single product below. Overall I was happy with most of the items I used this month, with a handful that I wouldn't recommend.
I'm a big fan of Estée Lauder. Their products are gentle on the skin, and produce results. I really liked this anti-aging cream – it was thick, but not over thick, unscented and made my skin feel so smooth. While this product didn't get rid of my fine line and wrinkles (there's honestly NO product out there that can get rid of the ones you already have), it did make them look smoother and less noticeable. I'm in my late 20s, so while I don't have too many wrinkles, I do have some and this cream helped me smooth out the ones I had and help prevent others from forming. I liked using this cream at night as my last step after my face wash, oils and serums.
This is the sister product to the cream above. If you're buying one I highly recommend you get the other one too. They work really well when used together. This eye cream is very gentle and I noticed great results around my eyes. With consistent use it almost appeared as if I didn't have lines anymore because they were so smooth and hydrated. The texture is similar to the cream – thick but not too heavy.
3. Fresh Rose Face Mask 👍🏼
Rose products are very intoxicating. I can't get enough rose products in my routine, and I use roses in a variety of ways every day. I add dried roses (that I brought from Dubai) to my tea, I add the Sakara Beauty Water Concentrate to my water, and I use the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater. These are just a few ways I use rose products on a daily basis, but I have a ton of other products in my beauty collection that consist of rose.I honestly haven't yet come across a rose infused beauty product that I didn't like.
This rose mask from Fresh is incredible. I'm so sad I finished this product and I can't buy more until next year! The smell is beautiful (as are most rose products), but what I loved most was how this product felt. The consistency of the mask is smooth and jelly like. It feels cool when you put it on your face. After 15-20 minutes of leaving this mask on you can't help but feel relaxed. The smell of rose all over your face is soothing (I recommend using this while you're taking a bath!). Once you take the mask off, you can tell how hydrated your skin feels. Rose locks in moisture on your skin, make it look plump and help it glow. It's really beneficial to add rose to your skincare and beauty routine, and this mask is a great place to start.
I really wanted to like this charcoal mask, but it was very disappointing.
It feels really good when you first apply it because the product heats up as you rub it on your skin. However, the heat goes away within 10 seconds which is way too quick to actually "open your pores to draw out impurities" like the package promises. Once the product cools down, it almost feels minty and tingly (I liked this part).
My issue, aside from the heat not lasting, is you don't see results with the product. It says you need to use the mask 2-3 times a week, but even after that use I didn't notice anything different about my skin. It didn't look or feel any cleaner than my normal cleanser, my pores weren't open, and my impurities (blackheads and slight acne) were still there. There's also only 4 masks in each pack (cost is around $6) so it's a very expensive to keep up with on a weekly basis.
You guys know how much I love Nip + Fab. I've partnered with the brand on several occasions and been gifted a handful of products (this being one of them). I already gave this product a raving review during my initial partnership.
I use these pads after I wash my face in the morning to help it look brighter. I've also used these products at night when I'm super tired as a lazy way to remove dirt from my face after I remove my makeup with cleansing wipes.
What I love most about all Nip + Fab products is they are affordable and produce results!
I was gifted this product by Pilaten (they also sent me a ton of similar lip masks) and I've been using them for several weeks now and love them!
The eye masks in particular help my skin feel fresher, moisturized and brightened. I use the eye masks on the weekend, either after a long week at work, when I feel exhausted, or before I got out to an event to get rid of my baggy and tired eyes. Because the eye masks have collagen in them, they also reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, temporarily making your eyes look smoother.
I only really started taking baths in the last few months. I'm only 5'2 and my tub is a little too long for my height so I can't sit in it properly without completely sliding down. But, as I reintroduced the gym to my routine and became sore, my muscles needed a nice soak to feel better. I got this bath salt on sale for $4 from Tillys (so random!) and wish I had bought more!! It smells so good (it's the rose, duh), and it's so nice and relaxing. I'm not an expert on bath salts, but I really enjoyed that this one had dried flowers and petals mixed in with the salts. Made it look and feel more luxurious.
8. Dermaclear Micro Water 👍🏼
This was my first time using a cleansing water and I really liked how gentle it was. It was a much softer way to remove my makeup, but the downside is wasting so many cotton pads!! I'd go through 3 cotton pads a night to remove my makeup (my mascara is always the hardest to take off). So not 100% sold on micro water yet but if you prefer it as a way to remove makeup then I highly recommend this.
This is the BEST dry shampoo for dark hair. Period. I would use this at least 3x a week to give my hair a little boost in cleanliness and volume. The formula in this dry shampoo is perfect for dark hair – it truly is invisible after you rub it out. I also like that this product really lasts all day. I never have to reapply dry shampoo the same day because this one keeps my hair looking fresh for so long. This is definitely one of the products I can't wait to buy again (I finished my travel sized one a few days into February).
This is the worst shampoo ever. I got this sample from one of my magazine subscriptions (it was literally in the middle of it) and it was enough for one time...but that one time was the last. My hair felt greasy within a few hours of washing it. Do not buy!
I received these samples in my Birchbox a few years ago, and was enough for one time. I really hated the smell – it's too cologne heavy. My hair felt clean, but it was pretty dry even after using the conditioner.
No issue with the formula (my hair felt clean and normal) but the smell is too artificial. I normally love grapefruit products, but this one smelled a little too intense.
I really liked this shampoo! I received this sample (and the conditioner) in the very first Bless Box by Sazan Hendrix. I never used Aveda shampoo before this and I actually enjoyed it. As you can tell I'm super picky with my shampoo and conditioner (I love TRESemmé), but I'd definitely add this into the mix and considering buying a full sized bottle when I run out of shampoo. This Aveda shampoo made my hair soft, clean and super shiny.
I had no issue with the formula of this liquid liner, I just didn't like the pen. It felt like a marker. It was too thick and made it hard to do winged tips.
I loved this liquid eyeliner. The felt was very thin and long, making it easy to draw out your liner in one swoop.
I really enjoyed this liquid liner as well – also loved that it was waterproof so there was less smudging by the end of the work day. It was still just as black as when I first put it on in the morning!
Again, Estée Lauder products are the best. I really like this mascara – it's light, but makes your lashes look full and so natural. I always use 2 different mascara brands on top of each other and I used this as my base for my top lash, and as the only product used for my bottom lash.
This mascara gives you the longest and thickest lashes imaginable. I love love love it!!! It looks like you're wearing fake eyelashes when you put this mascara on, and that's such a plus. I'm a sucker for big eyelashes and I loved pairing this with the Estée Lauder one above (that as the base and this one to finish). I find using something under this mascara makes it look less clumpy.