Things Meghan Finished Vol. I

Empties are retrospectives. Who was I when I got this? How have I changed? What does this all mean? Sure, not every product needs a metaphysical interpretation, but each empty lends itself to some evaluation. Did I like this? Was it effective? Did it fit my lifestyle? Can I imagine coughing up enough cash to get another one? Musings to follow.

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Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

$90 USD

I picked this up before my wedding—it was baby’s first (and most) expensive skincare purchase and clearly I was desperate. NO REGRETS. None. Each night, I’d wash my face and make sure to use a physical exfoliant (most often it was a washcloth). I’d give this a shake, a pump, and apply all over my face. My skin felt much clearer by morning—it tackled texture that I had below my lip and on my forehead—and I felt like my wedding skin was much improved! At $90, though, I think I need to hit rock bottom on all of my other exfoliants before I repurchase.


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The Organic Pharmacy Enzyme Peel Mask

$79 USD

I got a sample of this mask through a beauty box, as a sample size. Things I look for in a chemical peel/mask: it has to have a satisfyingly zingy sensation on my skin, but it can’t leave it red or drier than it already is. And tah-dah! I’m a fan of this one. Again, pricey, and I have another exfoliating mask I’m working through right now.


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Fresh Rose Face Mask

$62 USD

“Such exfoliation”, you say. I hear you. Whenever I use an exfoliating mask (weekly), I use a moisturizing mask immediately afterwards. Cue this thing of beauty. This is a gel mask that cools skin upon application and feels like it hydrates from the inside out. I know, I can’t explain it either. But this mask is my all-time favorite.


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Trader Joe’s Rose Face Mask

$7 USD

I wanted this to be a dupe for the Fresh one, but, alas, not even close. It’s a little more silicone-y, doesn’t feel cooling, and didn’t seem to hydrate my skin.It did leave my skin feeling soft, but not in the same way. Of course, comparingTrader Joe’s, a grocery store, to Fresh beauty, a skincare dynasty, is a tall order, so don’t let this deter you from TJ’s skincare altogether! I’ve loved other Trader Joe’s products—the body butters and shave gels have done me well. And I’ve heard wonderful rumors about their rose water spray


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VII Code Eye Oxygen Eye Masks

$55 USD

I love a good eye mask, especially when I want to make people believe that I slept like a baby the night before. The Skyn ones are great). But when you can two in one—sleep AND eye mask—I’m all ears. Or eyes. These Oxygen Eye Masks are worn overnight, so make sure to secure them with your favorite sleep mask(I like the slip one! I was skeptical, but when I woke up, my under-eyes looked glassy. Smooth, flat, and happy. I’m impressed, and I save time!


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My Beauty Diary Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Mask 

$13-$14 USD

So, you need a face mask that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, does its thing in 20 minutes flat, and everyone walks away happy. Look at this brand. Available at Target (target.com is usually one of my 240 tabs open at all times), it’s a great value for money, and I find my skin is plumper and more hydrated after using them. I use one or two a week. Check them out—they have quite a few kinds!


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Brooklyn Botany Vitamin C Serum

$25 USD

You can’t go wrong with this one!If you’re just trying out a Vitamin C serum, look here. The formula is gentle, but the antioxidant power is real.I used this for a few months straight, and it definitely brightened my complexion. With all Vitamin C serums, I encourage you to use quite a bit of product with each application and store it in the fridge. Vitamin C oxidizes quickly, so you want to use quite a bit upon each application!


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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

$10 USD

I consider The Ordinary to be the kiddy pool of skincare. Start here, and work your way up. This was my first foray into retinol, and I’m glad to have started here. Since retinols can require a lot of care (don’t apply with other actives when you’re first trying it out, moisturize after application; always wear an SPF during the day), I was glad to start with something really accessible. I had a really positive experience with this! Its moisturizing formula helps prevent the retinol from beating up your skin, which is a win-win. I’d recommend this to anyone who wants to try out retinol or to anyone who has already tried retinol and wants a cheaper alternative. Currently, I’m testing out the Paula’s Choice Retinol (and loving it), but I’m not saying I wouldn’t go back.


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Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

$75 USD

I have dry skin, but I’m into smooth skin just as much as the next girl. I picked this up, and learned, a whole bottle of it later, that there’s no way I’m ever going to spend this much on a primer again. Sure, it gives a smooth finish to skin. But nowadays, primers are pretty good. I’ve found others that I like much better and that give me a little more glow and, dare I say, a little color.

Perfume

I’m a perfume hound. A lot of my perfumes are samples, and I love mixing and matching scents, with no allegiance to a signature scent.


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Lancôme La Vie Est Belle

$72 USD

My favorite perfumes are spicy, earthy florals. This one is a rather sweet floral, perfect for layering against more exotic scents. I found this to be really long-lasting, and I got quite a few compliments on it!


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Kate Spade Walk on Air

$98 USD

I was not a fan of this one. Although I was interested in it because it was a floral perfume, I would categorize the scent as ‘clean’; but ‘overly clean’. This seemed rather one-note on me, like my body heat wasn’t picking up the complexities of the scent. It wore very strongly on me, with an overpoweringly ‘clean’ scent…that ended up not smelling clean.


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Tocca Giulietta

$72 USD

Whereas Walk on Air made me skeptical about ‘clean’ scents, this one relieved all of my doubts. This is my favorite clean scent. It wears naturally, smells pleasant, but not like I just scrubbed down with Irish Springs in the shower. It’s not overpowering, but lasts a long time on me! This is one I’d consider re-purchasing.


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Maison Margiela Replica Flower Market

$126 USD

Ahhh, this one. I’ve been seriously eyeing a repurchase here. It’s my dream floral scent. Floral, but not saccharine, earthy but not woody, long-lasting and not over-powering; gosh, I could BATHE in it! Also, the romantic and minimal packaging doesn’t, you know, hurt.