May Beauty Empties

It was a little quiet on the blog front last month. I’ve decided to launch a new project, a Substack called MIDDI! Sorry for the lack of posts in this space, I just needed to focus to get my newsletter off the ground.

But May brought some big moments. Most importantly, my husband and I each received our first dose of the Pfizer vaccine! We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this important scientific achievement to help flatten the Covid-19 curve for good. We also booked our first weekend getaway for next month, which means more UK content is coming! Beauty posts won’t be going anywhere anytime soon either.

Also on the beauty front, last month I finally figured out which product was continuing to make my skin break out. Find out which one it was and how the rest of my May beauty empties ranked below…


LING Skincare’s DNA DoNotAge Cellular Youth Extension Cream — With my skin type, I don’t usually reach for a thicker cream, but my skin loved this one. This cream is made with Renovage™ (Teprenone), squalane, hyaluronic acid and palmitoyl oligopeptide to deeply hydrate, plump and firm. I noticed it helped with the fine lines on my forehead and even softened my “tech neck” lines a bit. My skin drank it up and it’s one I would definitely return to during the colder months. I’ll share a review of another one of their signature products next month…

Real Purity Roll-On Deodorant — I never thought I would like a natural deodorant. Most I’ve tried contain baking soda, which gives me a rash, and those without it just don’t work. This one, however, kept me BO-free and dry, which felt like a damn miracle. The blend of essential oils includes lavender, sandalwood and rosemary, which give it a very floral, almost herbacious scent, so it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I was seriously impressed. I also didn’t experience that rumored “detox” period. I’ll likely use something stronger for summer, but I’ll go back to this one for sure.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Balancing Toner — I’ve tried a few Dr. Sturm products now and this one may be my favorite so far. It’s a lovely hydrating toner I enjoyed using in the evenings before my stronger actives. The ingredients in this toner include sugar biovector, beta-glucan, panthenol and hyaluronic acid, and I definitely noticed a calming effect on my skin. With such oily, acne-prone skin, I wouldn’t replace my stronger AM toner with this, but it’s a nice gentle option to follow a double cleanse.

On the Fence:

Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying Cleanser — This gorgeous cleansing concentrate (you only need a very small amount) is a pleasure to use. My skin felt so soft and smooth afterwards thanks to the added vitamin C and enzymes. I also love the scent. The only reason I’m on the fence about this cleanser is the price. She is expensive. While this small bottle did last me more than three months, I’m not sure I can justify it when similar products give me similar results for less money.

Kérastase Genesis Defense Thermique Treatment — Kérastase is hands down one of my favorite haircare brands. And a leave-in conditioner is an essential for my thick, course, curly hair. This one contains aquaxyl, edelweiss native cells and ginger root to help strengthen the hair and protect it against heat styling. It definitely helped give my hair some extra love while I waited to get into the salon. However, it was just too thick a formula to be in a spray, so I found it difficult to apply and not as detangling as other formulas.


COOLA Full Spectrum 360 Sun Silk Drops — First impressions are not always correct. For the first two weeks I used this SPF 30 face sunscreen serum, I was in love. My skin was dewy, glowy and hydrated and it didn’t pill when layered with my other products. But I was developing some pretty significant congestion on my chin and neck(!), which I hadn’t had before. I thought it might be hormonal, but then I had a bad breakout after applying this sunscreen after a stronger exfoliation. That’s when I knew it wasn’t meant to be. I haven’t used it for a week now, and my chin has already cleared up so much.

See what else I’ve used up here.

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