Hey guys! After my final thesis project, I’m back! I’ve somehow managed to finish off a ton of products in April… again. Do I use too many products or something?
The actual empties:
The No 4 L’Eau de Mare Hydrating Conditioner packet didn’t have enough product for a single application. It was thick and had a nice scent, but it was too powerful (I don’t like smelling like I fell into a vat of conditioner). Would I repurchase? No.
I liked this Anatomicals The Buff Stuff Citrus Body Scrub. It had a nice scent and was easy to use, and was also pretty inexpensive. Would I repurchase? Not sure – I’d be fine using it again, but would also like to try other products.
I used up a bag of cotton rounds from White Cloud. Not much to say about these, really, but I will ask… does anyone else feel like the cotton pads you buy are always different, even if they’re the same brand? You go in and buy the same brand, and there’s a different pattern on them and they absorb products differently or maybe they pull apart easily and can start to gum up like wet tissues. These ones didn’t have any major problems, but when I went to Walmart to repurchase, not only were they out of/no longer carrying the 80 count, but the 40 count was a different pattern.
These Skyn Glacial Cleansing Cloths were a bit of a cheat. I used them after working with oil-based clay in my life drawing class, and I’d usually be in a rush to get to my next class. The second or third day working with clay, I realized that an oil cleanser would probably work better than soap, and then I realized I had a million makeup wipes that I rarely use but would be perfect for this! My hands still smelled like the clay after using these, but the nice thing was that if I noticed more clay under my fingernails or something later in class, I could just reuse the wipe. Would I repurchase? No. When I first got this, I tried it with makeup and wasn’t all that impressed (although I’m not impressed by pretty much any wipes).
This Estee Lauder Take It Away Makeup Remover Lotion was just okay. It’s better to use a tissue to wipe things off, rather than water (both are listed on the directions). It didn’t do a great job at removing makeup unless you used a lot of this. I like using a cleansing oil to remove daily makeup, but this can be good for fixing mistakes or removing just one area of makeup. Would I repurchase? No, but I’d be fine with using it again if I received it in a free gift like I did with this one.
The Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser and Serum packets were very liquidy. I got a bit under three uses out of the cleanser, and wasn’t all that impressed with it. Suspending my current acne wash for this seemed to make my acne worse! The serum also didn’t seem to do much, but I was changing the rest of my acne regimen to start acne medication, so things were getting wonky. While I got three or four uses out of this, it wasn’t enough for me to really come to a conclusion. Would I repurchase? No.
A Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel packet… I talked about this stuff last month. It’s a nice cleanser that smells good. I would usually only use this if I wash my face in the middle of the day or am going heavy-handed with acne products and don’t want to aggravate my skin. Would I repurchase? Only after I use up the two travel-sized bottles.
I went through this Estee Lauder Soft Clean Tender Creme Cleanser after starting acne medication. I was told to stop pretty much all exfoliation and acne products for at least two weeks to help limit irritation. While this was a very gentle cleanser that did clean my skin, it did seem to leave a filmy residue that I wasn’t a big fan of. Would I repurchase? This was discontinued, but even if it wasn’t, no.
I mostly used the Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub on my body. If there’s a choice between a scrub and a normal cleanser, I’ll usually choose the scrub in the store. And then I get home and realize that I don’t need another scrub and usually have other products for exfoliating. My body acne is pretty stubborn, so I’d use this in the shower with (along with an acne-fighting body wash). I actually haven’t bought anything to replace this with, and while my acne has been a bit worse recently (I’ll blame end-of-semester craziness) I never realized how much these scrubs would cause dry, flaky skin. Would I repurchase? No.
I liked the Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask. It was a pretty typical mud mask, and I’m not sure if I really felt the charcoal effects. I’ve never used any other charcoal products, but I equate charcoal with removing impurities deep down, and I never really felt that deep clean, or experienced the acne that sometimes comes with bringing the gunk closer to the surface. Which, y’know, could be from the acne-fighting properties. Would I repurchase? Not sure.
Dermalogica Active Moist was a nice moisturizer. It was a lighter cream, which I prefer over thicker ones. It was good more on my normal and oily parts, but I’d use the Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance on dry areas. And it had a really pleasant scent. Would I repurchase? Probably if it’s on sale.
As mentioned above, the Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance. I’d use this on dry patches, or on my whole face if it was really dry. The scent was kind of like plastic, which was the main downside to this. Would I repurchase? No.
The Coola Classic Sunscreen Cucumber Moisturizer was light. As it had SPF 30 in it, I’d use it primarily in the mornings. The consistency was a bit runny, and I think this might have been a bit irritating on my skin. Would I repurchase? No.
This Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate was decent but didn’t seem amazing. I used this for about two weeks and didn’t see a huge improvement, but I feel like eye creams work best over time. Would I repurchase? Maybe.
I’d use the Origins GinZing Eye Cream in the mornings. It’s designed more to brighten your eyes, with a peachy color and an illuminating finish. The peachy shade usually seemed to turn my undereye circles a bit more red-based than purple-based. I might have been slightly sensitive to it, but my undereye area is my most sensitive spot. Having some SPF in here might have been nice, since this is a day cream. Would I repurchase? No. It didn’t do anything spectacular.
I decided to try the super-hyped EOS lip balm in the egg packaging over the summer, and this Honeysuckle Honeydew scent was one of the two I got. I’ve never been a big fan of the bulky packaging and the fact that the entire bottom half is a waste of space, but the plastic is also really thick, which seems at odds with their organic/eco-friendly vibe. The balm itself wasn’t really moisturizing, and didn’t last long at all on my lips, so really, what’s the point?
I had two samples of the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. This was a nice pore-filling primer, but didn’t really do much for longer wear time. I prefer a primer that is a bit sticky, rather than smoothing. Would I repurchase? No.
You guys might have seen my recent post about the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream. It’s got a lot of coverage for a CC cream, plus SPF 50. It’s really hard to get the very last bit of product out with the pump, and I couldn’t remove it from the tube. Would I repurchase? Yes! I’m just waiting for a 5x points deal at Ulta or something.
I tried the Marc Jacobs Remarcable Full Coverage Foundation Concentrate sample. Surprisingly, the lightest shade in the sample (27 Light Bisque) matched me (usually I’m a shade lighter than the sample). This foundation said to use just a few drops over your whole face for full coverage, but I couldn’t blend it out over my entire face and even after using the whole sample, it was only medium coverage, max. Would I repurchase? No.
I still just found this Eyeko Black Magic Mascara okay. I started out not liking it, as I do pretty much every mascara ever before warming up to it. It wasn’t quite as voluminous or lengthening as I normally like. Would I repurchase? No.
I finished off the Dove Go Fresh Revive Pomegranate and Lemon Verbena deodorant. I really loved the Go Fresh line about five years ago, and it got to the point where this deodorant stopped doing much of anything for me. I think I bought this mostly because I forgot about that and because it was on sale. Still only okay and not the best. Would I repurchase? No.
The Candlefish candle in fragrance #82 was nice. I’m not a huge fan of lavender, so that was the one thing I wasn’t crazy about in this fragrance blend. It’s also really small, probably about half the size of all the other candle tins I’ve used. But for an online candle buy, it wasn’t half-bad. Would I repurchase? No.
I first heard about Evening Primrose Oil capsules as a way to possibly help with hormonal acne, which I didn’t think I have (I don’t), but I was willing to give it a try. It helped with things like cramps, though. Would I repurchase? I already did.
The not-quite-empties (of which I laid out for a photo but apparently never took the picture):
This Boots Botanicals Ionic Clay Mask seemed to go bad – there were a bunch of thick bits (almost chunky). I bought this in the summer, and the packaging said it was good for 24 months, so I’m not sure what happened with this. This was one of my favorite masks, especially as it wasn’t branded specifically for acne but still had willowbark extract (which has salicylic acid in it). As it would dry, clogged pores or acne would stay damp and dark, which made it look like it was really pulling out excess oil and gunk. Would I repurchase? Yes.
This CVS brand Dead Sea Minerals Anti-Stress Mask, which I think is based on the Freeman’s mask, turned out weird (as did the other mask in this line that I tried). When I tried using it this month, it ended up stinging my skin. I’ve used this before and was fine, so I think this line just spoils quickly or something.
This Up & Up toner came in a store brand Proactiv-like set. While it was a nice astringent toner that didn’t include alcohol, I’ve gotten into hydrating ones instead. Would I repurchase? No.
Revlon ColorStay Foundation is probably my favorite foundation in terms of wear time, finish, coverage, and shade (despite being different undertones, I can get away with wearing both of these. One’s my winter shade and one’s my summer shade, and this is the only brand where I’ve ever managed to find the perfect shade for myself without having to mix shades). But the formula makes me really oily and clogs my pores, despite having the oily/combo version. Would I repurchase? I’ll probably try their new formula.
This Tarte palette and Flirt eyeshadows were old. The Flirt brand was discontinued a few years back, and I think the Tarte palette was in a limited edition set (also from a couple years ago). It came with a book and three individual palettes that could snap into the book for easier travel, and I stole this one from my sister. I put these into my ginormous palette, which was too big for practical use, and mostly kept them and the palette around for an eyeshadow single that I got in an Ipsy bag. I wasn’t using these because they were so old, and kept overlooking the single shadow. I got another palette and so have no need of these old products. Would I repurchase (if I could)? Yes to the Flirt shadows – they were super fun, and pretty much what I learned to do makeup on. The Tarte palette had few enough shades that I’d always make the same couple looks in the same colors.
These three Ulta eyeshadow quads were free gifts. I never really use them, mainly because the packaging is really bad and because I’m not really a fan of the Ulta brand products. Some of these shades are really pretty, and if all twelve had been stuck in a palette I probably would have used them way more. The orange shade is messed up because I tried depotting it to put them in a magnetic palette, and it didn’t work out.
I’m throwing this Revlon Color Stain Liquid Lipstick in Ultimate Orchid. It was my first liquid lip purchase. It was hard getting even coverage, especially if you wanted it opaque, and it was a stickier finish. Good thing Revlon has come out with a better liquid lippie! I just was swatching it on the back of my hand and remembered how tricky this was! I’m willing to just toss this one.
Overall, lots of good stuff! I keep on surprising myself with how much I keep finishing off in a month. I’d rather finish off products than have three million half-opened bottles all at once, and all of these skincare samples from things like Birchbox or freebies with purchases don’t help any.
Does anyone else who does empties posts feel like they have to save everything? Like finishing off spices or something else unrelated, and your first instinct is “time to add it to my empties box”?