Used & Abused – Product Empties!


Happy Saturday!

Today’s post is going to be all about products I’ve recently Used & Abused aka product empties!  I’ve been saving these up for a while so I have quite a few to get through!:

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – $12.50 CAD

fab cleanser

I picked this up a few months ago by accident; I thought it was the First Aid Beauty Repair Cream which I absolutely love, particularly in the winter.  I was a disappointed when I discovered that it wasn’t what I thought it was but thought I’d give it a try rather than returning it.

The good: This removes all kinds of makeup like nobody’s business.  I rarely use my face wash to take off my makeup because I’ve never found one that is actually effective.  This is an exception to the rule; it removed my liquid eyeliner and numerous coats of mascara with ease.  It also has a creamy, rich texture that lathered and foamed up really nicely.  My skin definitely felt cleansed after using this.

The bad: So while my skin definitely felt cleansed after using this, it also felt tight and dry after too.  Which is a pet peeve of mine. I definitely had an urge to slather on the moisturizer after using this which was disappointing to me.

Repurchase?  Unfortunately I’d have to say no on this one.  While I really liked how well it removed makeup, the way it left my skin feeling tight and dry after was a deal breaker for me.  I feel like this could potentially work well for someone with oily skin so I’ll leave it for them!

First Aid Beauty Daily Face Cream (no longer available – alternative)

This is another First Aid Beauty product I picked up a while back, although this one was on purpose.  I was looking for a new everyday moisturizer and this one seemed like it would fit the bill.  Just so you’re aware, Sephora no longer carries this specific product but its been replaced with the Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream.  I compared the ingredients and they are basically the same, give or take a few ingredients.

The good: While they refer to this as a cream, I personally would label it more as a lotion. It has a very lightweight, thin consistency which I prefer in a moisturizer, especially in my daily moisturizer.  As a result, this absorbed into my skin quickly which I always appreciate!  I hate waiting around for products to soak in before I can apply my primer or foundation or whatever.  I also appreciated the packaging on this – it was in a plastic bottle with a pump so it was easy to throw in my travel bag and keep sanitary (no dipping fingers into a jar!).

The bad: So given that this product is touted as being oil free, safe for sensitive skin, fragrance free, allergy-tested AND non-comedogenic, I felt pretty comfortable with leaving my sensitive, acne-prone skin in its hands.  That was a mistake.  This made me break out in and around my chin area just a day or two after using it.  I’m not sure what ingredients are in this that caused the breakouts but it was super disappointing.

Repurchase?  Unfortunately not.  I’ll never repurchase a product that causes breakouts as there’s just too many other options out there.  Unfortunately I do have sensitive skin so there are a lot of products out there that work wonderfully for the majority of the population and just don’t work for me.  That said, the new formula could have removed the ingredient(s) that was irritating my skin but I’m just not willing to take the risk, given that while I found it to be a good moisturizer, there was nothing special about it.  However, if you have normal skin and are looking for a lightweight, oil free moisturizer, this may be a good option for you.

Peter Thomas Roth AHA/ABA Acne Clearing Gel – $59.00

ptr gel

I’ve said many times how much of a fan I am of Peter Thomas Roth products.  Whenever I’m experiencing breakouts I turn to them and 9 times out of 10, they help.  I’ve had this product for 2 years and just recently finished it up.  Which was good timing because it recently expired!  Important to note: This product is not available in Canada.  I purchased this in the US when I was visiting a while back.

The good: This is a fantastic spot treatment for acne, and this is exactly what I used it for over the last 2 years.  It provided great results and would shrink and dry up any breakouts over night.  I found it also helped with fading any old acne scares.

The bad:  Because this contains maximum strength salicylic acid and glycollic acid, it’s drying.  Which, to be honest, is what I want when I’m trying to get rid of breakouts.  But if you overuse it or use it with any other products that contain similar ingredients, you’re likely to end up with flaky, irritated skin.  So you need to use it sparingly and in my opinion, as a spot treatment instead of an overall face product.  Also it is quite expensive!  Because I saw results with this, I was fine to fork over the cash for it – plus it lasted forever.  I literally purchased this bottle 2 years ago and just finished it up a month ago.  You get a lot of product in the bottle and a little goes a long way.  I did notice that as I neared the end of the bottle and the expiry date, it wasn’t as effective as it used to be, but that’s not uncommon.

Repurchase?  Yes!  I love this stuff and will at some point re-purchase it.  It’s disappointing that it’s not available in Canada so I’ll need to pick up a bottle the next time I’m in the US.  I have some other acne spot treatments that I’m trying to use it up but once I’m finished with those, this will be on my shopping list for sure.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup – $44.00 CAD

estee lauder

This is one product I”m really on the fence on.  I know this foundation is well-loved amongst the masses and considered to be a holy grail product for many.

The good: When I first started using this I really liked it.  I was looking for a full-coverage foundation with some serious staying power and this is a very long-lasting foundation.  I was able to put this on first thing in the morning and by the time I got home at the end of the day, there was still quite a bit of it left on my face.  Which, for me, is rare.  I really struggle trying to get foundation that sticks on my face, even when I touch up halfway through the day.

The bad: Like most long-lasting foundations, this is drying.  The weird thing is that I found after wearing it for a few months, it appeared dryer and dryer on my skin as time went on.  I also didn’t find the staying power as good as it was in the beginning.  I definitely had to use a primer with this, in order to avoid having it sink into my pores and highlighting any dry patches.  Near the end of the day, I’d still have foundation left but it tended to look really patchy and uneven on my face.

Repurchase?: I don’t think so.  I think this is a good quality foundation but it is expensive and while I liked it at first, as time went on it just ended up being too dry for my skin.  I could see this working very well for those with oily skin.

Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation – $35.00 CAD

sephora airbrush

The good:  This is another product that people seem to love and I can understand why.  I started wearing this late last year and was wearing it up until early this year.  What I really liked about it was how clean and simple I found it to apply.  I’d just spray a few spots of it on my face, blend it in with a buffing brush or beauty blender and I was good to go.  It truly gave my skin an airbrushed finish and it felt so light on my face, I hardly felt like I was wearing foundation at all.  I also love the packaging – it’s super light and easy to travel with (I’ve mentioned my sincere dislike for glass bottle foundations).

The bad:  I realized quickly after using this that it wasn’t a long-lasting foundation.  I always carried a powder compact with me to touch up throughout the day because within a few hours of wearing this, I’d get super oily.  Not uncommon for me, but I liked it so much I was okay with doing those touch-ups.  Then back in December I went to renew my Driver’s licence and as a result, needed a new picture.  When I received my new licence in the mail, I was appalled at the picture because I looked like I had stuck my face in a vat of Crisco!  That immediately prompted to me to start searching for a new foundation and I haven’t used this much since.  I think I can get away with using it if I’m just going out for a few hours but no more than that.  I tried wearing this again recently just to confirm that it’s not for me and I noticed that it oxodizes on my face now.  Perhaps it did that all along and I’m just noticing now but it’s just another strike against it.

Repurchase?: Well unfortunately I have 2 of these sitting in my makeup storage because I stocked up on them when I thought this was the best foundation ever.  But I won’t be going back for more once those are done.  Again, I could see this being another option for those with dry skin!

Make Up Forever High Definition Microfinish Powder – $39.00 CAD


I’ve had this powder forever and I think they’ve since changed the packaging, and perhaps the formula since I purchased this.  Which, in my opinion, is probably a good thing but more on that below.  For whatever reason, I really struggle to get translucent powders to work on my skin.  They always, always get stuck in my pores.  I don’t know why that is but I just steer clear of them now.

The good:  Lately, in an effort to use this up, I’ve been using this to set my concealer and for that purpose it works just fine.  Another plus to this is that it has lasted me a long time. There’s a lot of product in here (which there should be for the price).

The bad: As mentioned above, like any other translucent powder I’ve tried, this sticks in my pores.  It didn’t do anything to set my makeup or keep my face matte during the day.  I also felt it clung to any dry patches I had.  For me, it literally did nothing of what it claimed to do. 🙁

Repurchase?: No.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Touchably Full for Colour-Treated Hair Shampoo – $8.99 CAD


I’m always on the hunt for the next best shampoo.  I’m pretty picky about what I like in shampoo, mainly because I feel like I have some high maintenance hair.  It’s colour-treated and fine and I subject it to heat styling on a daily basis.  It’s very susceptible to humidity and damage, and doesn’t hold style very well, at least without a ton of product.  Because it’s fine I also deal with oily roots (dry shampoo is my friend!) and product build up.  I used to use John Frieda’s Blonde line years ago and liked it but I can’t remember why I stopped using it. The fact that this was formulated for colour-treated hair and claimed to increase volume was what drew me to purchase this.

The good: This is a bit of a stretch for me because there wasn’t a lot of good things about this, at least in my opinion.  It did have a pleasant scent and my hair did feel clean after using it….and that’s about it.

The bad: This did nothing in terms of adding volume or fullness to my hair.  After using it I found my hair to be pretty limp and lifeless, despite following my usual styling routine (hair primer and volumizing mousse).  I used it a few times and then passed it on to my husband who basically uses up any hair products that I buy and decide I don’t like.

Repurchase?  Nope.

Kenra Volumizing Shampoo – $15.99 CAD (Not pictured – I thought I had saved the bottle but I must have thrown it out!)


I purchased this a while back as well; it came in a set with the conditioner and a sample size of their heat protectant spray (which was actually pretty good, wish I could remember the name of it but I no longer have the bottle).  At the time I was using the Kenra Hairspray that everyone seems to love (which I’ve since fallen out of love with) and because I was impressed with it, I thought I’d give a Kenra shampoo a try.

The good: So I definitely noticed an increase in volume and body after using this, especially compared to the John Freida shampoo noted above.  I also noticed my hair kept curl/style longer which was nice.

The bad:  I know that some volumizing shampoos can coat hair your hair in order to add volume.  Maybe they all do and some just do so more than others?  I’m not sure about that but what I do know is that this shampoo definitely does that and I didn’t like it.  While my hair had more volume it also felt heavy and weighed down (yes I know I’m contradicting myself!).  Also, if I didn’t coat my hair in the corresponding Kenra Volumizing Conditioner, my hair was just a huge tangled rats nest after getting out of the shower.  The scent of this is pretty strong as well; it didn’t bother me but it’s a super sweet, kind of like that banana cough syrup you had as a kid scent?  I could see some not liking the scent but it doesn’t stick around after you wash your hair, you’d only smell it when shampooing.

Repurchase?: I don’t think so.  I hated how it coated and therefore, tangled and weighed-down my hair.  It also wasn’t cheap!  Again, too many options for shampoos out there so I’ll keep searching!

Jergens BB Body Skin Perfecting Cream – $9.99 CAD


I’m not one to use self-tanner, even though I probably should because 90% of the year I’m white as a ghost.  I personally just feel that much more confident when I have a hint of colour.  However I’m lazy and most times just can’t be bothered to first of all find a self-tanner that won’t turn me orange, exfoliate, apply self tanner with a glove, wait for it to dry, wash it off, make sure my sheets are dark so they won’t stain….ugh.  However, I came across this at Superstore a few months ago and  I was really intrigued by the multi-purposeness (I don’t think that’s a word but I’m going to use it anyway) of this!  It claims it will hydrate, illuminate, even, firm and correct – all within 5 days of use!  With those claims I couldn’t not pick it up and give it a try.

The good: If you’re lazy like me, this is a fantastic product.  I love that it contains a moisturizer and self-tanner in one and it did both of those jobs well.  I never had to worry about exfoliating before I used this, even though I did on occasion (which was strictly coincidence).  I did use this on my whole body but mostly on my legs as I like having a bit of colour on them in the summer when I tend to wear a lot of skirts and dresses, without nylons.  This would give me a hint of colour without making me look orange at all (note: I used the light/medium shade).  If you’re anything but fair, I’d probably recommend buying the medium to dark shade as the light to medium has a very subtle hint of colour.   I was not consistent with my use of this – sometimes I’d use this several days in a row, then I’d forget for a few and then start using it again.  I never had to worry about washing it off or it transferring to my clothing or bedding.  I applied it in the morning after I showered and by the time (most times before!) I applied my makeup and did my hair, it was dry.

The bad: This does have a bit of that self-tanner smell but it wasn’t overally strong and definitely less than a straight-up self-tanner.  I didn’t notice any firming benefits but because I wasn’t consistent with using this everyday, I can’t fairly judge if it does help with this or not.  Lastly, I found that when I used this and wore a skirt, my legs were so soft and moisturized that I struggled to keep them crossed during the day.  I know that’s a weird remark but it’s true!  I have a bad habit of wanting to sit with my legs crossed all the time so I should probably use this everyday so I can kick this habit.

Repurchase?:  Yes!  I’m going to pick up another one of these this weekend in fact!

Phew!  If you made it all the way to the end of this, I applaud you!

As always, thanks for reading and have a great weekend!


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