The April Empties

The Empties of April

Welcome my darlings to the beginning of a whole new month.  As we do every month, we take a peer into the depths of the empties bin to look at products that were used up and give them a brief evaluation. This month didn’t have a massive amount of empties, but there were some interesting ones.Let’s see which of these products deserves to make a return.

First up is the Kneipp Mineral Bath Salt Deep Breathe Pine and Fir.  This one technically isn’t my empty it is my babydoll’s.  This is his favorite scent of the Kneipp Bath Salts and it appeared in my empties bin because he knows I go through the bin at the end of the month and he wants me to reorder it for him.  He loves bath salts but never orders them himself.  So I will be reordering this for him.  I will also be getting a jar for myself.  I am partial to the Dream Away Scent so I will be reordering that. I was actually waiting until he ran out to order new Bath Salts.

The Native Water Lily and Orchid Deodorant finally reached its final use.  While I like Native Deodorant I am not entirely sure about this scent.  There is something a little perfume-y about it that I don’t like in a deodorant.  I repurchased the Native Deodorant in the scent Powder and clean cotton and it is a scent that I much prefer.  At the moment I am doing a full year of the Native Deodorant so I can get a feel for it in all seasons.  In the fall I will reevaluate.  

I very much enjoyed using the Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm by Banila Co.  It worked well on my skin.  My only issue was it did sort of sting a little when it got into my eyes.  I actually didn’t have this problem with the Original Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm that I tried.  This one was in the green container while the original was in the pink container.  I’m not certain what the difference in the formula was, but I would buy the Pink Original cleansing Balm container before this one as I like it slightly better.

I very much want to repurchase the GlamGlow Super mud Clearing treatment and am having to hold myself back until I use up a few more of my masks.  I have several that are partially used and several I really need to finish up and clear out. Once I’ve made a little more space, I will be ordering a full size of this mask.  I really enjoyed using it.  I’m not always the biggest fan of Glamglow, but they certainly had a winner with this one.  My skin felt soft and several of my clogged pores were unclogged.  It is a very good mask.

The bareMinerals Be Pure Be Dewy mask duo is an interesting tale.  It was a mask that I have had for a while and I tended to only reach for the Be Pure.  Realizing the Be pure was almost used up I took it out of the drawer and made an effort to use up the Be bure and the Be Dewy side.  The jar is gorgeous and I will be reusing it elsewhere but as far as masks go I would repurchase the Be Pure in a heartbeat.  I am less enthused by the Be Dewy.  There wasn’t anything wrong with it, the mask just didn’t appeal to me.  So I would half repurchase this.  And since the masks are sold separately, it’s not a problem.

Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion came to me in a Boxy Charm a while ago.  I really like the pump, but the cream was only so so for me.  It absorbed well and wasn’t greasy but it also wasn’t that special.  I found myself using it in order to use it up rather than because I wanted to use it. I didn’t want to waste it, because it is a decent cream, but it isn’t good enough for me to repurchase again. Especially not at a $60 retail price. It just wasn’t worth the price tag for me.  There are many body lotions that I would prefer to use before purchasing this one.

The Dionis Goat Milk Hand Cream in Vanilla bean surprised me.  There was no goaty-ness to it and it was super hydrating.  It absorbed relatively quickly and it really worked well with over washed hands.  The faux vanilla scent is a bit strong and overpowering, but it fades quickly.  The formula was good enough and I don’t mind the scent all that much so I would definitely consider buying this hand cream again.  I might try out different scents to find something not quite as sweet but the formula was great.

Speaking of scent, the Rahua Classic Shampoo and conditioner set will not be repurchased in a full size due to it’s scent.  The products worked well but the scent was strong and it lingered in the hair.  It did not fade and Quite honestly I did not enjoy the scent of it.  The formula was fabulous, but I will not be purchasing the full sized versions.

Sys Superfood 4 your skin Moisturizing Cream Prickly Pear Probiotic also got me with scent.  It is a decent enough moisturizer, although I think it would be more of a summer weight rather than a winter moisturizer.  It is light weight and absorbs easily.  My skin liked it and the scent was nice.  However the scent of prickly pear just didn’t really suit the cream.  It made me think that my skin was sticky even when it wasn’t. I think it is because I associate the scent of prickly pear with cocktails more than skincare. The cream was nice and would especially be nice in the coming warmer months, but with the scent it just isn’t for me.

The All in One Egg Mellow Cream from too cool for school was a moisturizer sample that I just finished up. (when I went to the site for the link I found it is actually currently on sale on the Too Cool For School Website, the link will take you there) It is thick enough to be used at night and in the winter, has  pleasant scent to it and absorbed well into the skin without clogging pores. 

I was very impressed by it and will be trying this out in a full size.  I won’t be trying it out until the fall though.  I think the formula of this suits my skin better in the cooler temps and when trying out products I do like to give them their best shot.  I think this might be a little too thick for summertime wear for my skin.  So I will try it again when the temperatures cool back off.

The Sunday Riley Good Genes All in one Lactic Acid treatment I would use in any weather.  I really like how it performed on my skin. 

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The scent is somewhat reminiscent of a lemon scented cleaner but this product works well enough for me that I can ignore that and still use it.  If I didn’t have other products I wanted to test out in my skincare drawer already awaiting testing I would have ordered this as soon as the product was empty.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  It is a bit pricey so when it reached the halfway mark I would start looking for sales and upcoming holidays and hoping the product lasted until then.  It is a really good formula and I love the way AHA’s work well with my skin to sweep away old skin cells and leave fresh looking skin behind.  And this was gentle enough that it worked really well for me.

And now we come to the makeup products in the empties bin.  Oh yes my darlings, there are a few of these.  The first however isn’t so much as empty as old and clumpy.  Sadly I did not use it up.  Mostly because I used it, didn’t like it and every time I tried to use it again I liked it less and less. The Mellow tinted Brow Gel  was not my favorite formula.  It was heavy and made me feel like my eyebrows were crispy and crunchy.  Not my favorite feeling.  I will not be repurchasing this.

The Trestique Vegan Color+contour cheek stick In Brazilian Bronze will be repurchased and probably repurchased over and over again.  It is such a great formula and so easy to use.  A quick swipe on each cheek, a quick blend and you are done. It is a creamy formula that blends in really easily.  It’s probably why I used it up so fast.  This was the second bronzing stick from Trestique I have used and it certainly won’t be the last. It will definitely be seen again.

To finish up, I had two mascaras in my Empties bin this month the Beauty For Real Hi-Def mascara and the Ciate London Wonderwand Mascara.  Both are mascaras I would reorder.  I have tried several Ciate Mascaras and I think the Wonderwand is my favorite from the brand.  It thickens and volumizes beautifully. As for the Beauty For Real, it really surprised me. It has such a small wand that I was certain I would hate it.  But I didn’t.  The formula was fantastic and the product was wonderfully lengthening.  I would definitely reorder it.  Both of those mascaras made it onto the to be reordered list.

Don’t you love ending on a high note?

Those my darlings are the Empties of April.  There were some good and some not so good.  I really like sitting down at the end of the month and seeing what it is I actually managed to use up and how I feel about it.  There are a lot of products that I will try and think are good, but it is the ones that I keep reaching for even after the initial excitement of the new fades that I need to remember to put on my hits list. And for me it really helps to line the products up before they head out to recycling, reuse, and trash to see which ones I am disappointed to let go.  Plus, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finally manage to work through something like the Lord Jones Body Lotion that I wasn’t too crazy about to begin with. I know that sounds a little strange but it helps me and hopefully this little rundown helps you out when looking at what products you want to give a go in your own personal routine.


Looking to stock up on your favorite products or try something new? Why not pop over to All Beauty? They have a really good sale on French Skin care at the moment – up to 65% off – and they carry a lot of different brands including a large selection of Payot products. I tried the Payot Creme Glacee and really enjoyed it. I have my eye on several other products I may try and scoop up while the sale is going on.

They also have the new Kérastase Curl Manifesto for coily and curly hair (and you know how much I love their Genesis line), a large selection of Neom Organics products and even the Dermalogica Extreme Moisture Melting Masque (while supplies last) Their selection is really large and their prices are really good. If you are looking sto stock up you might want to check them out.




The March 2021Empties

All right. All last night we had large machines moving through the neighborhood all accompanied by the random beeping. They are gone now and the power is on, the internet is connected and my work day can proceed as normal. Thank you ladies and gentlemen of the power and internet companies.

I salute your efforts.

And am thrilled the contents of my freezer are still frozen.

But now we move on to the Empties of March. it was an interesting mix of products this month.

the new bin

In case you are wondering about the Empties bin looking a little different, I ended up getting a new empties bin.  While my old plastic bin was great for smaller skin care item empties, it tended to overflow when I added shampoo containers and both washes to it and as a consequence I ended up throwing them away and forgetting to mention them because they were simply too much for the bin. 

This bin is canvas and can go in the washing machine if needed.  It comes from target.  It was one of their end cap items so I have no idea who the brand actually is.  I have no idea how long it will last but at the moment it seems quite sturdy. 

So, let’s start off with some of the larger items. This month I finished the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo and conditioner.  I love the fact that they are sulfate free, phthalate free and designed to help keep my hair color from fading. 

My hair liked them and I would recommend them to anyone with color treated hair.  In fact I would recommend nearly every Color Wow product to people with Color treated hair. if your color treated hair has an issue, they have a product. And Color treated hair is kind of their thing. They do it well.

This shampoo and conditioner also helped me out with the tangling of hair so I had to use less detangler.  They have different types, the set I used was for Normal to thick hair.  I believe they also have one for fine to normal hair.  For me this was a definite win and I will certainly be using them again.

Also being ordered again will be the Klorane dry shampoo.  This was the last of my Klorane dry shampoo with Oat milk.  It was a long time favorite but I have recently been loving the Nettle infused Klorane dry shampoo for dark hair.  They are both fantastic. Because I have dark hair I tend to lean more towards the Nettle infused version but I really just love the Klorane dry shampoo formula. 

It never feels heavy and even though dark hair always gets a white cast to it from dry shampoo it brushes out easily and leaves my hair glossy and fabulous.  Klorane is always a winner.  At the moment I am trying out the eco friendly packaged dry shampoo from Klorane so a review of that along with a little something special will be up soon. But yes, this is a product I would order again.

I am not so certain I would order the Essano Rosehip Micellar Water again though. I think this was a TJ Maxx purchase. It does an okay job removing most makeup.  It leaves a lot of foundation behind and is not good at all with mascara. It is good to use after a cleansing balm, especially if my skin is breaking out or irritated.  I like Micellar waters for that in general, however this one was a bit too floral for me.  It was an okay product but the scent turned me off and I’ve had better micellar waters.

This month I have an empty Re-nu contact lens solution in my empties bin  It is from Bausch and Lomb.  It is a great contact lens solution and I have used many bottles of it.  I would order it again. 

At the moment I am trying out the Bio True also from Bausch and Lomb and I think I might like it a little bit better.  It feels a little better in the eyes.  I would still repurchase the Re-Nu though as it is a great product

I am not going to repurchase the Luscious Hand cream in Citrus spritz from Ipsy’s Refreshments line.   It smelled okay and was a decent enough hand cream but it wasn’t a stand out.  In fact I have had the same issue with all of the Refreshments products I’ve tried thus far. They are generally okay, but not the best. I will use them while they are there but not reorder. They seem to be mediocre right across the board.

I have tried many much better hand creams and I will be ordering them in the future.  This is the sort of product that you use because it’s there, not because it is special. I used it, and used it up and now it is going away.

The three shave products that came with my first Dollar Shave club order when I was testing out the subscription also fall into the good enough to use if they are there, but not something I would re order.  They are the Dr. Carvers Prep Scrub, Shave Butter and Post Shave Dew. 

I like the thought of a prep scrub and have since started using a sugar scrub on my legs before I shave.  It has made a world of difference.  I like the concept, but the this prep scrub is easily out performed by other products.  he same applies to the shave butter and post shave dew.  There is nothing wrong with them, I just have many other products I like better. The razor was top notch though and I am thinking about reordering from them. I have a couple of other subscriptions I want to try out first though.

I was actually quite sad when I had to add my Milk Makeup Kush Lip Scrub and Lip Glaze to the empties bin this month.  Both are fantastic products that I really enjoyed using and would definitely order again.  I loved the convenience and formula of having the Kush lip scrub in a tube and I liked the formula and herbal scent to the Lip scrub. I also liked the easy to keep clean metal tip of the lip glaze. It wiped off clean after use and never got gunky. Both are products I would happily order repeatedly.

While we are on lips, I also enjoyed using the Teadora Wild Superfood Lip Drops.  These are little golden capsules that you twist open and apply to your lips.  While it is recommended that you use them morning and evening,

I found I really liked them at night.  They are just a little too much for day time wear for me.  However at night on dry chapped lips they were wonderful.  They coated the lips in soothing oil and were super hydration bombs for my lips.  If you are looking for a night time lip mask, I would highly recommend them.  I will be picking up another jar to keep around for the summer when I spend too much time in the sun.

I will not be repurchasing either of the Youth To The People Products in my empties bin this month.The first is the Kombucha 11% AHA Exfoliating Power toner.  To me it smelled like rubbing alcohol and  to be honest I didn’t see much change in my skin when I used it. 

The Adaptogen  Deep Moisture cream was too moisturizing for y skin.  If I had much drier skin it might have suited me better, but I don’t so it didn’t.  That is nothing against the product or brand.  I’ve tried a couple of things from YTTP that I liked, these just weren’t on the list as they didn’t suit my skin. And that is one of the best things about these sample sized products. They are large enough to give you a chance to see how your skin will react but small enough so that if you don’t like them you don’t waste a lot of product or money on purchasing a full size. While I have liked other things from the brand, I did not like either of these two products enough to use a full size.

I will more than likely be picking up a full sized bottle of the NeoGen Dermatology Real Ferment Micro essence.  It is the first essence I’ve really tried in my skin care routine and I really liked the effect it had on my skin.  I want to try out other products so I can get more of a feel for the essence category, but this worked so nicely on my skin that I am certain I will be circling back to it.

There will also be a definite full sized purchase of the Skyn Iceland Icelandic Youth Serum in the future. The sample was really small and I only managed to get just under two weeks with it, but in that time my skin felt fantastic.

A full size and a full trial is definitely on my list of upcoming product trials. I was very impressed with the brand. Prior to this I had only tried a mask or two from them. While I always liked their masks I never tried their serums. It was so worth trying out in any size. At least this one was and it is what will draw me to a full sized bottle.

I am not so certain I will purchase a full sized version of the Illamasqua Beyond the veil Primer. I like Illamasqua as a brand and routinely use several of their products.  In fact I was really excited to receive a sample of this in a subscription box because I love the regular Hydra veil primer from Illa masque. 

It is one of my favorite summertime primers. This is supposed to be the Hydra Veil primer blended with the Beyond the veil powder.  Both products are good and in theory this product should be really good.  For me it ended up being just okay. Personally I prefer the Hydra Primer.  That primer I will purchase from Illamasqua repeatedly.  I think this one however I will pass by.

I just finished using the Pearl Brightening Sleeping mask and although I had high hopes for it, I think I will have to admit that it is not for me.  It is too wet for me and ended up staining my pillow more than it ended up hydrating my skin.  I wanted to like it, I just didn’t.  I think you just really need very dry skin to use this sleeping mask.

I had better luck with the Dr Botanicals Pomegranate Sleeping Mask.  It was just enough hydration for me and even though I was still shiny when I went to bed, the mask mostly stayed on my face and absorbed in.  I felt hydrated in the morning after I used it (whereas I didn’t with the Pearl mask).I really like that this was a nice affordable sleeping mask and I am sure it will be making a return to my skin care line up.

Not making a return is the Avant Propanediol Mica Hyaluronic Maris Aqua Collagen Age Radiance Eye Cream.  I know with all of those terms you would think that it would be right up my alley. 

After all I like Hyaluronic acid and Collagen in my eye creams.  This one however clogged my pores something fierce.  I had enough bumpy texture to look like I was starting to turn into a Star Trek Character.  And that I can do without. 

This eye cream will not be returning to my skincare line any time soon. In general Avant is very hit or miss for me.  I have tried a couple of things I liked but mostly it is misses for me or so so products that I can easily walk away from. I was not sad to see it go. 

I was sad to finish the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder. It is one of the brand’s best sellers for a reason.  Oh my darlings I am in love.  I used every grain of this and even contemplated writing poetry to it..  I loved the mixing with water, the foaming texture, the scent and the fantastic clean it gave my skin.  While I like a lot of cleansers and would repurchase them, this goes on my list of absolute loves.  This is a product I will stalk and stockpile.

Also in the list of satalk and stockpile are the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel.  I went through two of the,  They are masks.  They smell good enough to eat Although please don’t and my skin felt fantastic after I used them. 

I went through two travel sized tubes of them  I have a third one but I am holding off on using it while I use other products. 

I know that this is a product I will order in the full size and keep on hand.  I really enjoyed using it.  While I like Elemis products in general, this is right there at the top of the list for me.

This month I also have a sample size of the La Roch Posay Retinol B3 Serum.  I liked the sample and I will be picking up a full sized version to try out. 

My skin reacted really well to the serum.  At the moment I am using the Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol (which I also like but purchased because the store was out of the La Roche Posay) but I will be picking up a full sized soon.

And finally we have a sample size of the MAC Cleanse Off Oil. I know it is a very tiny sample. I am not certain where I ended up getting it actually. Maybe it was at the MAC Counter. I do know that I had several of them and they were in the back of my skincare drawer.

I’ve been using them up periodically just to use them up. I wasn’t doing that because I wanted them gone but because they were small glass vials of oil that were rolling around in the bottom of the drawer which didn’t seem like the smartest of options. it actually seemed like a good way to break glass, loose product and potentially cut myself reaching into the drawer. So I used them up.

I liked it, the oil worked well and I would definitely repurchase it.  It is actually one of the oil products I liked the best out of the ones I’ve used. It did a great job removing makeup and didn’t cloud my contacts or sting my eyes if it happened to get into them.  It is a really good makeup removing oil. While I am glad that there was no glass breakage I am sad that this is my last vial of this oil. I have one other oil in my collection that I have been trying to work through for a while now. It isn’t my favorite but it works (its the scent) so I won’t be purchasing the Mac Oil for a while, but I think as incentive for using up that oil, I will be promising myself that once it is used up, I can purchase the Mac Cleanse off Oil in a full size. Sometimes bribery works.

And that my darlings is the Empties bin for March.  It had the good the bad and the only so so this month.  But now the bin can be emptied and new products can be used and judged. I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I did.


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The Empties: November and December 2020

Last month I completely spaced on doing a review of the empties in my bin so there is a lot to go through this month.  Most of these items had full posts listed on my site so if you want more fulsome details I hope you check them out.  This is just a rundown of the products I used up, along with a few notes about what I think of them now that they are gone.

The products all laid out

Item number one is the Marc Jacobs Youthquake.  I had high hopes for this one.  It smelled nice and in general I like Marc Jacobs’ products.  This however felt very heavy on the skin and was far too moisturizing for me to take. 

I could use it as a night cream but not during the day.  To use it up I ended up using it at night (and to be honest, also on my elbows which tend to get really dry in the winter).  It was fine at night (and my elbows loved it) but it was too heavy during the day.  I will not be repurchasing it. I will be reusing the very pretty jar somewhere though.

The PureHeals Pore Clear Black Charcoal peel off mask is also not going to make it to my repurchase list.  While I like the mud masks that PureHeals makes (and will order those repeatedly) this mask was not for me.  It never did anything for my skin that I could tell and it hurt to peel it off.  If a peel off mask is going to hurt then I want to see some results.  After all the Hey Honey Take off The Drama mask hurt like the dickens but my skin was fabulous afterwards.  This just hurt and offered no return.  I kept trying and it never got better.  So it is good by to the empty and I will not be picking it up again.

the A+ high dose retinoid (L) and ICE Moisturizer (R)

Next up there is a trial size of the Sunday Riley A+  High Dose Retnoid Serum.  I enjoyed using this very much and will be picking up a full sized bottle sometime in the near future to try out in my retinol trials. It was very nice and gone far too soon.

I will not miss the Marcelle CC Cream.  I finished this small tube up last week and happily added it to the empties bin.  While it is a wonderful color corrector, over the course of the day it seeped into the fine lines around my eyes and made me look super tired. 

Marcelle Golden Glow CC Cream and Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Plus, it lives up to the name Golden Glow and made my face very glowy, which is not my thing.  And so this too will sadly not be repurchased.  I was disappointed as every other Marcelle product I’ve tried has been top notch.

Also disappointing was the Dove Nutritive Solutions for Volume and fullness.  While I love Dove products in general and usually have no problems with them, this shampoo and conditioner set just didn’t work for me. 

While I don’t normally have a problem with tangles, while using this shampoo and conditioner, I ended up having more tangle problems than usual.  I also felt like my hair was slightly dull and getting some build up.

The first few washes were fantastic.  But then it just went downhill fast. While I love the brand Dove and will continue to buy other products, this shampoo and conditioner set won’t be one I will repurchase.

I have to say, I am slightly on the fence about the feel renewed Pumpkin Walnut facial cleanser. I never actually thought I’d say that. Because this is not my first tube. It is the scent that always gets me, and if I’m honest, it is the reason I purchase it.  I adore the scent and it was a good clean, but it was a rather rough exfoliate when it comes down to it.  I believe I used it early in November, maybe even late October.  The scent was suitable for the time frame and utterly delicious. 

I have tried a couple of other exfoliating scrubs that perform better, even if they don’t smell as yummy.  The Olay Regenerist scrub in particular smelled nice and clean and was a much gentler product on the skin. I think this may fall into the category of I’d use it if it ended up coming into my possession but I wouldn’t seek it out. It is a good exfoliator for once or twice a week, I just don’t think I would want to keep it stocked. I just need to find something better with the same scent.

I will be stocking the pixi skintreats Clarity Tonic though.  It was a fantastic toner and I had wonderfully clear skin while using it.  While I like other pixi toners, I have to say this one thus far is at the top of the list.  This doesn’t mean I won’t try other Pixi products, but this one is a definite repurchase.

I cannot say the same thing for the Whish Botanical Primer, the Derma E radiance toner or the Balance me Bakuchiol soothing Serum.  Although I do think I will be looking into bakuchiol more closely as an ingredient.

The Balance me and the Derma E products both worked well, enough but the scent of them both was not one I appreciated nor wanted to face every day. I find it kind of a shame as they were good products. However I know myself and the scents just meant that if I repurchased them in a full size I would slowly stop using them because I couldn’t take the scent.

The Derma E was floral and somewhat cloying while the Balance me smelled a bit like floor cleaner.  I just know the product would go to waste if I purchased them. The Whish primer, however, was something altogether different. 

Derma E toner and Georgette Klinger Collagen and Elastin Mask

The Whish botanical Primer was a failure as a primer. An Absolute Failure. It did nothing a primer really should be expected to do. It was however pretty good skin care.  While this primer won’t be returning any time soon, it worked well enough as skin care that I am going to be looking into the other products from this Whish line that are specifically designed for skin care use.  I will not use this as a primer. So it will not be returning, but some of its brand compatriots will.  I can’t be upset about trying it though as it did bring Whish to my attention.

Sulwhasoo serum, Whsh Botanical Primer and Goldfaden Needleless Serum

The Tatcha Deep Cleanse will hopefully soon make a return in a full size.  I really enjoyed this cleanser.  It was one of the few exfoliating cleansers that I have tried that I found I could use on a daily basis with no skin damage. 

My skin looked and felt wonderful while using it and I really enjoyed the scent of the cleanser as well.  It is lightly floral but with enough of a fruit back note to keep it from being cloying.  I was somewhat surprised as I didn’t particularly care for Tatcha’s moisturizers when I tried them.  However I can see why this cleanser is one of the brand’s best sellers. It is definitely something I want to repurchase.

Elemis Pro-collagen marine Cream and Tatcha Deep Cleanse

There were four sample sized moisturizers in my bin this time around and I have to say all five of them made my list of products that I would want to reorder in a full sized version.

The Sunday Riley Ice moisturizer is not the most appealingly scented cream. It smells vaguely medicinal.  However, it is a thick cream that disappears into the skin and hydrates well.  I think as a night cream it would work well for me.  It is also one of those products where the product worked well enough that I found I could live with the scent.  As I am very scent oriented (in case you hadn’t guessed), that is saying something.

The second sample was the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine cream.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I enjoyed it as there are very few products from Elemis that I don’t enjoy.  This sample came to me through a Look Fantastic Box and I was happy to get the chance to try it before adding a full size to my try out list.

The third sample was from Skin Ceuticals and it it is the Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 moisturizer.  The sample worked well as both a day and a night cream and It is one I would certainly want to try out for longer.

Surprisingly the fourth is the 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream.   With 111 Skin I am sometimes on the fence with them  I like a lot of their products but there are few I fall in love with.  Especially after seeing the price.  They usually strike me as good, but not quite good enough to justify the price.  I don’t mind paying more for a product I think is worth the price. Especially where skincare is concerned.

This is one moisturizer I could easily see myself falling in love with. It claims to be a day cream and that is exactly what it is.  I really like a product that stakes a claim on one thing and does it well.  I liked it enough that when I looked at the price of the full size I actually found myself thinking it sounded like it was priced correctly. 

That was how much I enjoyed the sample.  I was very sad when the sample ran out and you can bet that anytime I see a sample of this up for grabs I will be snapping it up. This is one of the few things from 111 Skin that I believe actually earns its price tag.

Another product that earns it’s price, although it is substantially lower in price is the Timeless SkinCare Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  I believe a full sized bottle is around $9.95, but trust me, this serum is something I would actually pay twice that for, maybe even three times.  During my use of it, I actually saw a reduction in the Great Stress Crack of Mimsy, which is what I call the ever deepening line across my forehead.

While using this, it not only didn’t deepen, but it appeared to be getting shallower.  I was sad when it ran out. I have two hyaluronic acid serums to test out from other brands and now that I’ve had a few weeks without this serum, I am going to start a trial of the next sot see how it performs.  But right now, Timeless SkinCare has set the standard and it is a pretty high mark to reach.  Regardless of future trials, this was an excellent serum offered at an excellent price and it is one that I foresee making several repeated trips to my skin care shelf.

A few products that won’t return?  The Sulwhasoo first care Activating serum.  Its herbal scent I could get used to if it was an amazing product, but it left my skin sticky and not feeling improved.  The Goldfaden, MD Needle-less line corrector will not be returning either.  It felt like it was stinging, but beyond the stinging it didn’t do much.  In general Goldfaden, MD and I have not had the best history.  I have a serum to try from the brand, but thus far everything I have used from the brand has left me saying ‘Thanks, but no thanks. ‘

Sadly the Pa’akai cleansing cream also falls into that category.  It cleanses well enough, but the scent is just far too perfume-y for me to take on a twice daily basis.  Incidentally, I did use the product up, but there was just enough remaining to coat the back of the bottle where it lay in the empties bin so it looks full. It fooled me too but I opened it and looked inside thinking I might not have finished it out. But oh yeah, it is empty and the perfume scented remains remind me why I am not using it.

I found myself trying to avoid washing my face while using it, and that is not a good thing.  There are many steps I could probably skip in a skin care routine should I want to pair it down.  Washing my face isn’t one of them.  So, it is a good cleanser, but sadly the scent just made it not for me.

Also not for me is the Tarte Shape tape Concealer.  It works well as a spot concealer, blending beautifully into my skin and hiding red spots and blemishes.  But it settled into the fine lines under my eyes and just made me look haggard.  Which is not what I want in a concealer.  So I used the last of this little sample size up as a spot corrector. And now it is empty and will not be repurchased. Sadly I used to love the Shape Tape Concealer.  I think that as I get a little older, my skin’s needs just change.  I have changed not the product. If fine lines aren’t a problem for you then you will still love it. (if you like it now). This was an excellent concealer for me once upon a time, but no more. 

Benefit They’re Real Mascara, Wander Beauty Mile High Mascara, Maybelline Color Strike Shadow, wet ‘n wild liquid liner and Revolution’s Fast Base Concealer.

I do have a second concealer in my empties bin this go around and it is the Fast Base Concealer from Revolution.  I love this concealer, never had any problems with it settling in my fine lines and will be repurchasing it very soon. 

The fact that is it a $3 concealer, if I remember correctly, doesn’t hurt the wallet either. I don’t mind paying a lot for products that work, but good products come in all sorts of price ranges, and this one certainly proves it.  The Fast Base will be repurchased.

There are two empty mascaras in my empties bin.  One is the Mile High Lashes from Wander Beauty and the other is a sample sized tube of They’re Real from Benefit Cosmetics.  While each performed well, to be honest, neither are the products I prefer from the brands.  With Wander Beauty I would purchase the Unlashed Volume and Curl Mascara before I would purchase the Mile High Club mascara.  With Benefit, I would purchase Bad Gal Bang before I would pick up They’re Real.  That isn’t to say that they are not both quality products, but I doubt I would purchase either of them specifically.  If going onto their brand pages, other products would draw my attention.  So I did like them, and wouldn’t mind using them again, I just know that if shopping, they aren’t the ones I would repurchase.

Also not making my repurchase list was the First Aid Beauty Primer.  It is a mattifying yet hydrating primer but my skin isn’t dry enough for the product.  If I had skin that was a great deal drier, this would be a different conversation.  But alas I don’t.  So the First Aid Beauty primer I would not repurchase.  If you have really dry skin and are looking for a mattifying primer, you might have better luck than I did with this product.

One primer I will consistently repurchase is the Yensa tone up primer.  This is either the second or third tube of this that I have gone through and I absolutely adore it.  It mattifies and fills pores really well and my skin reacts really well to it.  It makes my top ten favorites list. In fact everything I’ve tried form the Super 8 line from Yensa has been really good in general. I’m actually finishing out a BB cream sample size from the brand this week that I know I am going to have to order in a full size once I’ve whittled down my foundation products.

L to R: Hey Honey Gold Mask, Yensa Primer, Hey Honey CC Cream

The Hey Honey Trick and Treat CC cream is also on my reorder list.  It fairly melted into the skin and left me with a beautiful no makeup look that worked really well for daily wear.  I adored the formula and will be purchasing a full size in the future.

As far as Hey Honey goes I will also be reordering the Show Your Glow Colloidal Gold and Honey Beauty Mask.  I really like how soft and lovely it made my skin feel.  The fact that I wandered around the house for fifteen minutes looking like I’d been gilded by a wandering art restorer was kind of fun as well.  But the mask was fabulous.

I also want to order a full sized version of the Georgette Klinger Collagen and Elastin Mask (pictured above with Derma E).  The sample I tried worked really well on my skin and it is one I would not mind keeping a full size of around. It plumped up my skin and diminished my fine lines after one use.  The tube had enough for three uses and I was happy to use it for an entire week of masking.  I was however very sad when it was empty. So to the repurchase in a full size list the product goes.

As much as I like Native Deodorant, I have to say the sample size of the holiday scent Sugar Cookie was enough for me.  The sample size lasted a little over a month and quite frankly as much as I liked it, I was happy to end the trial. I am still using my Native Deodorant, but it is the Cucumber and Mint. 

Like the holidays, it was nice while it lasted, but I was happy to resume the standard once it was done. I could not have taken a full size of this.  I am still upset I didn’t pick up the fill size of the Candy Cane Scent, but they didn’t have it at Target (apparently it sold out extremely fast) and I didn’t get around to ordering it in time.  That one I probably could have used longer than the Sugar Cookie. Mostly because I adore peppermint.

I still don’t know why spearmint (an inferior to peppermint in my opinion) gets to live on throughout the year, but peppermint, fabulous peppermint is banished to the holidays. Because of this I stock pile products and end up using products decorated for Christmas in June. It isn’t right. Do you know how many bars of Dr. Squatch’s Peppermint soap I have squirrelled away in my linen closet? I don’t either and I’m not counting because it would make me feel bad, but I do now have an absolutely deliciously scented linen closet. But that isn’t the point so I will end my pro-peppermint rant and get back to the empties.

I know this is a behemoth of a post, but there are only two more items and then, my darlings, we are through.  The Color Strike Shadow from Maybelline was  really hard to work with and had the added effect of not staying long on the lid once I got it to work.  While I generally like Maybelline Products, this was not my favorite.  I am getting rid of it because trying to make it work nearly drove me bonkers. I’m sure there is product remaining in the tube, but it was so hard to ge out onto the little brush that I couldn’t prove it. It will not be repurchased.  I’ll still use Maybelline products, just not this particular product.

And to end on a good note.  The wet ‘n wild liquid megaliner eyeliner. It reminded me of how much I really liked liquid eyeliners. It performed magnificently and I was so sad when the product reached the end of its productive life.  It went on smoothly and after letting it dry a moment, it stayed put all day without fading.  (If you don’t give it a moment to dry it will transfer when you blink because it is a wet liquid. So just give it a second and you are good).

I will repurchase this product and I will continue repurchasing this product.  I will also be picking up more liquid eyeliners from different brands in the future. As a side note, the wet ‘n wild liquid eyeliner was the very first eyeliner I learned to apply way back in Junior High. I loved it then and I find it amusing all these years later to find that it is still a great product. So many of the products i used to absolutely adore when I I was first introduced to makeup have either sadly gone away or are kind of amusing to look back on. I find it fun to find one product that still works as good as I thought it did when I first started with makeup.

And with that my darlings we are finally through with two months’ worth of empties.  If nothing else this reminds me that I need to remember to do these once a month or suffer the wrath of an overflowing bin and an extraordinarily long post.  I nearly forgot about some of the items towards the bottom.

If you stuck with me, thanks for making it to the very end. If you didn’t’, don’t worry, it was a really long haul and I almost gave up midway through myself. I will see you at the end of January with next month’s empties in a much more manageable sized post. I have put it on my nice new calendar so that I will not forget it. I will also be back this afternoon with a perfume review as well, but I am definitely remembering the empties bin each month instead of letting it carry over.


The Empties of October

The Empties Bin

Welcome once again to the Empties bin. It is an interesting mix of products this month, some good some not so fabulous.  So let’s jump right in, shall we?

First up, is the First Aid Beauty Facial radiance Pads. I have to say, I was not a fan.  After using them my face felt sticky from the serum in the pads and the pads themselves were over saturated.  I know it is meant to ensure they don’t dry out before you use them, but for everyday use, I am not going to keep them stocked. 

I will say they did work well.  My skin looked quite lovely while using them and despite the fact that they felt sticky, my skin did like them.  I think I would pick up a small size a month before an important event and then use them to ensure my skin looked its best for the event, but I would not keep them around.  I just can’t see myself using them every day. If I were going to go with pre-moistened toner pads I’d lean toward the Elemis resurfacing pads.

I actually fared better with the First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Cream.  I very much enjoyed using this sample of the moisturizer and have put a full sized version on my list of products to try out a full version of in the near future.  Also on that list is the Miss Flower and Mr. Honey Cream from Banila Co (currently it is on sale at the Banila Co site if you are interested.)  I very much enjoyed this moisturizer and will be picking up a full sized version to try out soon.

I can’t say I had the best experience with the other two moisturizer samples in my empties bin this month. While I generally like Korres products, the Nourishing Probiotic Gel-cream was not for me.  The texture of the cream was fine and lightweight but I just could not get past the scent.  Oddly enough I like the same scent in the mask from Korres Probiotic line, but I do keep that mask in the fridge.  I think this is a scent that my brain just wants to associate with the cold.  When it is warm, I just don’t like it. So no full size of this for me.  I will stick to other Korres products ( I love their pomegranate line as everything I have tried in the line works well with my skin and doesn’t confound my nose).

The last moisturizer had barely three days worth of product in the tube, but that was enough to let me know I did not like it.  It was the Goldfaden, MD Detox Hydrating Gel.  This is one of those brands that always sounds good but somehow always manages to fall short for me.  I have the full review to post this afternoon so I won’t add too much here, but I was not a fan and will not be purchasing a full size to try out.

I had two cleansers in my empties bin this month.  The first was from OSEA and is the Ocean Cleanser.  It smells like a Sonic limeade which always amuses me and works fantastically well on my skin.  I’ve bought it a number of times before and will continue to purchase it later in the future. It is a pricy, but good cleanser if you are looking for a splurge product.

The Codex BeautyBia Exfoliating Wash worked well and was a very nice gentle exfoliant that I could actually use on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, I did not like the scent.  To be honest, that is the only thing wrong with it.  I really hate to put that in the no longer purchasing category solely on scent, but I know myself well enough to know that even though it is a great product, I wouldn’t use it because of the scent if I purchased it. It smells too  much like castor oil for me to enjoy.

I can feel good about adding the Tula Skincare Glow and Get it calming and brightening eye cream to my do not repurchase list. It was pretty and I like the thought of eye cream in a stick, but it clogged my pores really badly.  I just ended up with semi-circles of bumps along the path of application.  It looked like I was thinking of dressing like one of the aliens from Star Trek (Cardassians I believe were the ones with the under eye ridges although I may be mixing my aliens up).  It was not a good look for me.  So no repurchasing of this product in my future.

I finished out the Polaar Sunscreen this month and I have to say, this is one I would pick up again.  I wasn’t a huge fan of it on my face as it felt a little heavy, but it was perfect on my neck and chest.  And truthfully it is only a little heavier than the Volition Sunscreen.  It comes in a very close second and if I didn’t have the Volition to compare it to, I would probably not have thought it was heavy on the skin.  As it was, I adored using it on my neck and upper chest.  Many of my walking shirts have a v- neck or a scooped neck and my upper chest takes a beating if I don’t cover it with sunscreen and this was perfect for that.  No clogged pores and fantastic coverage. I actually have a Polaar day cream to try out in the sample moisturizers section of my skin care drawer and after using this I have high hopes for it.

From the face we move into the skin care for the body.  I had one empty sample sized body wash this month and it is the Mio Sundrenched Body wash. (currently this is on sale on the Look Fantastic Website and in the Skin Store, the link will take you to the look fantastic site and the sale). I really liked the body wash as it lathered well and rinsed clean without leaving any soapy residue.  It smells like a creamsicle. I like the scent but I found myself liking the scent more in the morning than in the evening.  It seems more of a walk up scent than a going to bed one. 

I don’t mind having two separate body washes so I will probably end up picking this one up again.  I should also say that I have actually repurchased this one as a gift.  My brother has been looking for a nice body wash and I think the scent will suit him. He doesn’t like the ‘girly perfumed’ washes and he doesn’t like the ‘manly perfumed’ scents so he often gets kid’s body wash, and then complains that it doesn’t work as well on his adult skin as he would like and that people laugh at the plastic dinosaur head on top of his body wash. So this should be a nice alternative.  Hopefully this one will work for him.  I’ll let you know.

I had two body lotions that I went through this month,  One is the Cake Milk Made totally to Die For indulgent body milk cream and the other it the Barefoot Venus Vanilla Effect Instant hand Repair. The Cake cream I will be repurchasing.  I loved the scent and the way it absorbed into my skin.  It was surprisingly a lot better than I thought it was going to be.  I know I shouldn’t judge a hand cream by its cutesy name. The Cake Beauty will be repurchased.

The Barefoot Venus will not.  It is too cloyingly sweet vanilla and takes a while to absorb.   I ended up using it just at night so that I could let it absorb over night and that worked really well, but if it is a hand cream that I am using because I am washing my hands so much and using so much hand sanitizer, I shouldn’t want to wash my hands after applying the hand cream.  With this I kind of did.  It worked well just using it at night though so if you are looking for an overnight lotion for your hands, this might suit you.  The scent is too sweet for me and when I used it at night my baby doll kept asking if I was bringing candy to bed. While not a bad thing to dream off, I probably won’t pick up a full sized bottle as I will with the Cake Milk Made.

I also managed to finish the e-cooking Overnight foot cream.  This is one of those products that worked so well it over came my dislike of scent.  It smells like Vick’s Vapor rub. There is no getting around that and you either love the scent or hate it.  We are a house divided on that.  My Baby doll loves the scent (as does my mother actually, the bonded over it) I can not stand the scent.  However it is on my feet and I pull socks on over the creamed feet so the scent isn’t that strong. And quite frankly the cream works well enough that I don’t care about the scent and will be purchasing more because scent or not, I will use this.  I worked fantastically well on my dry heels.  They will never be baby smooth, I walk far too much for that, but they are no longer cracked and heading into painful territory as winter dries them out.  I am a big fan of this even though I don’t like the scent.  Even my nose will adjust when it has to.

I finished up three masks this month.  It should be no surprise that all three of them are clay masks.  And all three are on my repurchase list.  The first it the Bliss Pore Patrol Deep Detox four clay soufflé mask.  This worked wonders  when my skin needed a good clear out.  My skin really liked it and I really liked the dispenser.  I thought it would get clogged, but as long as I wiped down the nozzle at the top it worked well.  I have a long list of Bliss products I like as I have been purchasing from the brand for years.  This is another one I will add to the list. 

The Generation Clay detoxifying Charcoal Clay mask is another I will be adding to my repurchase list.  It isn’t surprising as every other Generation Clay mask has made my repeatedly repurchase list. This one I found I could not only use as a general mask, but I could sort of spot treat, especially along the line of breakouts caused by wearing my face mask.  It worked really well in stripes across those new break out areas.  In fact I tended to use it whenever I came home from wearing my mask out.  I would come home, take off the mask, wash my face and apply the mask on those areas I knew would break out.  It was sort of a preemptive strike against maskne and worked really well. It also used the small tube up pretty quickly.  This is a definite repurchase.

The third mask was the Cottage Greenhouse Orange Blossom and Honey mask.  It smells utterly delicious and worked really well.  It was a pleasure to wear because of the scent and when I rinsed it off, my skin always felt smooth and clean.  I really liked the way my skin felt and I will be using this again.

Those of you following my daily posts may recall I started trying out a Native Deodorant this month.  Prior the Dove advanced Care invisible was my go to deodorant.  It never stained my clothes, it smelled nice but not overpowering and more importantly, I could wear it through the most brutal workouts without any fear of any sort of problem. I really like this deodorant. And I will be buying it in the future.  I like the Native deodorant and will shortly be doing a review on it, but that doesn’t preclude me liking this as well.  When I know I am going to be working out and sweating like crazy, Dove is still my go to.

And now we come to the makeup items.  And surprise, there are a few this month.  The first is the e.l.f. Tinted moisturizer.  Sadly this is a discontinued product, because I would have repurchased this repeatedly.  Alas I cannot. I did find an excellent e.l.f. replacement, but this cannot return simply because it no longer exists. 

Also not returning in is the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer.  As a primer it was okay but it was a little too hydrating for me.  It didn’t really do much in terms of locking the makeup in and I quite frankly just wasn’t impressed.  Perhaps it would work better if I had drier skin, but I do not, so I will not be repurchasing this in the future.

And finally we come to the mascara.  There were three In my Empties bin this month.  They are the Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara, the Bad Gal Bang from Benefit, and the Harvest Lengthening mascara. The only one I will be repurchasing is the Bad Gal Bang.  I adore this mascara.  The Doucce just sort of fell flat for me and the Harvest started off strong but smelled strange and flaked halfway through the day.  So Benefit yes, the other two not returning.

I am always surprised by the number of products I actually manage to empty in a month.  I always think, I didn’t use that much up, and then I find I did.  I think it is mostly because I have concentrated on using up some of my samples.  As it is a trend I plan to continue for the next month or two, I’m sure it will mean the November and December Empties bins will be just as full. Personally, I like going through everything at the end of the month as it gives me a better idea of what I really want to repurchase and what was, sadly, forgettable. I hope you enjoyed it too.



The Empties: August And September

Oh yes, my bin overfloweth

Hello my darlings.  As I went with the NYX Bare with Me Tinted Skin Veil as my foundation product this week, and still felt more or less the same as I did the first time I tried it, instead of a foundation review this week I am posting the empties bin.  And it isn’t just a one month empties bin, oh no.  I have two months worth of empties to give you. Mostly because I forgot to post August’s empties.  As I used up a lot of my samples in the past few months and concentrated on finishing out some masks, there is a lot.  In the interest of not making this post rival war and peace, I have left out the sheet masks. Although for you early shoppers out there FaceTory just launched their holiday masking bundles. 

Now on to the Empties. The first is the AYAM Dead Sea Minerals make up remover wipes.  I know I don’t often use make up wipes, but they are good to have on hand once in a while.  And these lasted me a while.  Which was surprising as they were really good.  In fact they may be among the best makeup wipes I tried.  They took off product and weren’t overly saturated in liquid and didn’t leave my skin feeling wretched.  I really liked them.  Actually I would like to see the liquid they use in a different form because it was not only a really good make up remover but it left my skin feeling really soft after cleansing.  It was hard not to reach for these all the time, but I resisted and they lasted a long time.  Would I buy them again? Yes.  I don’t buy make up wipes often, but the next time I do buy them I would by the AYAM Dead Sea Minerals Make up Remover Wipes.

Speaking of make up removers, there were three empty makupe removers in my bin this week. One was a balm and the other two Oils.  I finally emptied my Elemis Cleansing Balm.  Which is fun because I received a brand new one in September’s Allure Box just as I emptied this one out.  At the moment I am refusing to open it until I clear out a few more make up removers.  It is hands down my favorite cleansing balm and I would repurchase it over and over again. The other two Makeup removers are oil cleansers One is the Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser and the other is the Province Apothecary Moisturizing oil cleanser.  Both worked well. Of the two I would probably purchase the Kahina for my own use but only because the Provence Apothecary is so heavily scented of bergamot which I just don’t like.  Oddly enough though it is one of my mother’s favorite scents and I did already order it for inclusion in a skin care gift basket for her.  It is a really good product, I just don’t care for the scent.

To round out the cleansers there are three regular cleansers in my bin this month.  The Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleanser and the Dr. Brandt Pore Purifying Cleanser I would both buy again.  The Celefit Oil to Foam Cleanser, I would not.  It worked well and I really enjoyed the oil to foam nature but it was so heavily scented that it was like splashing perfume on my face. It is a good cleanser though so I used it up but it was a relief when it was finally empty.

In my toner category I have two empties.  One was the Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating toner.  I enjoyed using it.  At the moment I am using a different Pixi toner that I don’t like as much. I bought it because Target was out of the Glow Tonic.  If I were to repurchase PIXI toner (which I will), I would go with the Glow Tonic Exfoliating one and if they were out I would probably wait. The Akar Balance toner is an interesting one.  I really liked using it. 

My one concern is that it has a six month expiration date.  I think the full size also has the same expiration date on it and I don’t think that I could work my way through the toner in that time frame.  The Travel size lasted quite a while.  I think I would definitely repurchase the travel sized container but I would have to investigate the full sized one a bit more before I committed and only because of the expiration date.  The product itself is a definite yes.

And so we move on to serums.  The Balance me Vitamin C Serum smelled exactly like Lemon Pledge.  It worked well enough, but I have tried other vitamin C serums that work just as well so I would probably give this one a pass. The other three serums I would repurchase.  They are the Decorte Liposome, the Claudalie Vino Perfect and the Volition Snow Mushroom Water Serum.  While I really liked all three of them, I have to say the Snow Mushroom Water Serum was my favorite of the bunch. The other two aren’t far behind as they are both nice, but if it were a contest, Volition would take it.

I had one exfoliator in my empties bin this month and it is the NUXE Insta Masque.  I put it alone rather than with the masks as it seemed more exfoliator than mask.  You apply it and let it sit for three minutes and then massage and rinse.  I tended to brush my teeth while it sat on the skin.  It is rather rosy scented which may bother some people.  It didn’t bother me and I really enjoyed the product. 

There was a second NUXE product in the bi n this go around and it is the NUXE Crème Prodigieuse Boost.  It has the rosy French Skin Care scent (although more powerfully present than in the Dior). I liked the day cream and would not mind using it again, and possibly will pick it up again.  It isn’t something I would seek out especially though.  It would be an impulse purchase. It’s a good cream, just not something I would hunt down. Also in the good but probably not something I would seek is the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream.  It seems like something I would really like but after using it I thought, ‘This is nice but not fabulous’.  I wouldn’t mind using it again, but I wouldn’t seek it. 

The Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Moisturizer is a different story.  This I would hunt done.  This is one of those products that makes me want to do my Christmas and upcoming birthday shopping early so I can stalk the PTR website and pounce as soon as the sales become active. A full size of this will be mine.  I can even see me tackling someone in a department store to get the last jar of this.  Well in theory anyway.  In reality I’m not a tackle sort of person.  I’m more of an ‘Oh look over there’ distraction sort of person rather than a physical one but the reality evokes less of a holiday may lay sort of vibe.

And with that we move on to the one eye cream in this bin.  It is the Dermadeli nourishing eye serum.  I liked the tiny dropper but didn’t find it all that nourishing and it tended to clog my pores.  I will not be repurchasing this.

I will be repurchasing the empty La Roche-Possay Antherlios 50 Mineral sunscreen. It was a good light weight sunscreen with no white cast to it and it didn’t break me out. It was a winner and very well priced.  I have no problems adding it to my repurchase list.

The soap from Le Couvent that came in a subscription box is not on my repurchase list.  Which is a shame as I like to include a bar of fancy soap in several of the beauty packages I put together form my mom and aunts.  The packaging would have been perfect.  The soap, I just wasn’t a fan of.  I think they mixed a little too much skin softening agent into it so my hands didn’t really feel clean after using the,  They felt moisturized but not really clean.  And the scent wasn’t my favorite. So this is a no for me.

Taking a quick jaunt into makeup, I finally finished my I heart Revolution Fixing Spray.  While it worked well and I liked it as a setting spray, I don’t know if I would repurchase it.  I’ve been using a setting spray that has skin care benefits and really liking it.  At this point I’m not sure I would actually buy a setting spray that didn’t have skin care benefits.  This doesn’t.  I will say it is a good, affordable setting spray that works well.

The Ciate London Everyday Vacaay Translucent setting powder I already have a back up of waiting in my dressing table.  It is a good setting powder and doesn’t have the flash back that the regular setting powder has.  I went on coconut overload this summer so I am using other powders at the moment but rest assured, this powder will be returning.

There are three mascaras in my empties bin this time around, as I purge the older ones from my collection there will be more next month. The Scandaleyes wow wings from Rimmel will be repurchased.  And I think I would pick up a full size of the Maneater Mascara from Tarte.  I really liked it as an everyday formula. The Lash Alert from Eyeko I would not purchase.  I wasn’t a fan of the formula.  I prefer their Black magic Mascara to be honest.

This time around there are several hair products.  The first is a dry shampoo from Freeman it is the PSSSSR Deep Clean.  It worked well in an emergency when I was ill prepared for a change in time for a video conference.  It took down some very greasy post work out hair and made it look fine for the video call when I didn’t have time for a shower.  I did have to take a shower right after as my scalp itched. 

That was partially because I used so much of it, but to be honest, this is more of an emergency dry shampoo.  It is for when you only have to look good for an hour.  For that purpose I would keep it around.  Much in the same way I would keep a fire extinguisher. Used like regular dry shampoo it worked well for about two to three hours and then the hair overpowered the product.  So emergency yes, routine use, not so much.

The Everything Mask from Josh Wood Colour I would purchase again in a heartbeat.  My hair really liked it.  It smelled nice and the product left my hair soft and shiny and rinsed off well.  The R+Co Dry Shampoo past is a pass for me.  I didn’t like using it and I didn’t like how it made my hair feel.  I think part of it was the formula of the powder/paste.  I just really didn’t like rubbing it into my hair.  When I brushed it out there were tangles and if I wasn’t careful it looked as though I had dandruff.  I really did not enjoy this product.

The Ouai Wave Spray Ondulation was interesting.  The product was nice.  I’ve never tried a Ouai product that wasn’t to be honest.  However I discovered I don’t really care for the wave spray look.  On me it ends up looking just like my hair looks naturally when I let it air dry. So the product was nice and I really enjoyed the scent of it in my hair but I will pass because I don’t really have a need for this particular product.  This is different from the Prep and Protect Spray from High Performance Hair Care.  It is a category of product I use routinely, but I just didn’t like the product.  It made may hair stiff in spots and I didn’t care for the scent. So it is a no on repurchasing.

And finally we come to the masks.  Surprisingly the only one I wouldn’t repurchase is the  Blackhead O2 Bubble pore mask.  While it was fun, it didn’t do much. I will always have at least one version of the Generation Clay’s masks in my masking collection.  The Ultraviolet purple is my favorite of theirs.  I already have a replacement waiting that I am not opening until I clear out a few more masks. 

The Biorace Pore Tightening masks I went through twice and really liked. They will probably be returning again. The Hey honey Sweet Treat mask is one of my favorite Hey Honey Masks.  It always leaves me feeling refreshed.  And the Bliss Mighty Marshmallow I have already repurchased so many times I have lost count.  It is actually strange now to not see it on the shelf.

The Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme mask is, like the Hungarian Thermal Water Moisturizer, something that I will hunt down. It was an excellent exfoliating mask that I really want to get in the habit of stocking.  I also really liked the Erno Laszlo Multi Task Eye serum masks.  They were quite nice on myeyes and I will be picking them up again.

The absolute last item is the Kylie cleanser. I put it for last because technically it isn’t an empty. It is however going far away. It is rare that a product is so bad that I just don’t want to continue with it until it is gone, but this was that product. I hated using this. I didn’t like the smell, the feel on my skin or the results. At best the foam was fun. I tend to look for more than fun in my skin care though and this was not it. So even though it is not empty, it is leaving, never to return.

Wow okay now I see why I should skip a month of the empties and what happens when I try to clear out sample and travel sized products.  But now that I have gone through them I can actually empty the empty bin.  It will be nice to see it empty again and not over flowing as we head into October.


The Empties: July 2020

The empties bin at the end of July 2020

Welcome to the July Empties.  I have to say, it looks like a full basket this month.  Admittedly, that may be because of the shampoo bottles and trial sizes.  So let’s clear the large shampoo bottles out of the way first shall we?

First up, is my general standard for shampoo and conditioner.  If you ever wonder what it is I compare products to, this is it.It is the Suave Professionals rosemary and mint. The scent is perfect for a post workout pick me up as it smells amazingly fresh and clean.

This is one of my standard drug store favorites.  With my hair I generally find that I have to switch up shampoos periodically to keep my hair loving them.  This is one that gets rotated in frequently.  In fact it is the one that I actually compare other shampoos to.  I don’t mind paying extra for good hair products, but they have to work. So whenever I pick up a pricy shampoo and conditioner to try out, I ask myself does this work as well as the Suave? So even though this is leaving, it will be repurchased again and again in the future.

Slightly pricier shampoo that I recently ran out of is the Love Beauty and Planet Coconut water and Mimosa Flower shampoo and conditioner. This set is designed for body and strength for fine hair, but I find it works really well on my hair as well.  My hair is on the thicker side, but I still liked it. 

It gave my hair great body and shine.  I did find that I still had to use a leave in conditioner after wards.  I think that might be because my hair is not fine.  I also found that this worked best if I didn’t use it every wash.  If I used it every wash, it tended to not do as well.  I found that it worked best for me if I kept this as my once a week shampoo and conditioner, using Suave the rest of the week. 

I don’t know if there was some sort of build up with the products that Suave cleared out. But for a once a week wash, I did really like this set.  Plus, using them only once a week offset the higher cost by making them last longer.  I would definitely consider buying these again, but next time I might look for something in their line designed for thicker hair and see if I had the same issues with it. I initially bought this because I saw volume on the label and that is generally my go to for product claims. Either way, I like the brand and will continue to purchase from them in the future.

Sticking with hair for the moment, I have two empty dry shampoos this month.  One is the full sized COLAB dry shampoo that came in a Glossy Box and the other is a trial size of amika perk up. I liked both but for different reasons. 

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Let’s talk about the colab first.  It claims to have oil absorbing without the white residue.  It has white residue.  I have dark hair, it showed white on my hair.  Personally, I don’t mind as I generally find that the ones that show the white tend to work the best.  With this dry shampoo I found that it worked best if I sprayed it on my hair just before bed and then brushed it out in the morning.  Doing that, it worked really well.  It absorbed any excess oil and left my hair looking clean. It is a very good, and very cost effective product. I think the full sized bottle was under $6.

With the amika perk up, it left a lot more white, but if I brushed it out right after application it left my hair amazingly soft and shiny (in a healthy non greasy way). If I tried to spray at night and leave it, the product got weirdly clumpy and my scalp itched. It is a dry shampoo to use when you need to run out somewhere, not an overnight product. To be honest, while I would consider buying this again it would probably be in the travel size that I could keep in my purse rather than the full sized to keep in the bathroom. The Klorane is still my go to dry shampoo, neither of these replaced it, but this really is good on the go, just remember there is a LOT of white added to dark hair with this product. So both dry shampoos were good, but in different ways. 

This month my empties bin features several make up items. For primers I have the Benefit Pore Professional Pearl and the Kaja Blur Drop.  Technically speaking the Kaja is not empty but it is leaving my world so I thought I would include it. 

It was one of those products that I just didn’t like and never want to use again.  It may work for someone else, but it did not do well with my skin at all.  The one friend I generally trade products with as we tend to have almost opposite skin needs, said she tried it and hated it to, so alas it is going in the bin.

The Porefessional Pearl Primer from Benefit on the other hand, I loved and will be getting again.  I have one more sample size of this in my collection and once I use it up, I will be purchasing the full sized tube.

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This month I also used up a sample size of the Purlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream.  I tried it, loved it and luckily have a full sized version waiting in my drawer.  I am trying to resist opening it until I have used up at least one product, but it is hard to resist.  That is one of the best BB creams I have tried.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was the Pur 4-in-1 love your selfie longwear foundation and concealer.  I did not like this product and will not be repurchasing it.  Luckily it was only a sample size because it it were full sized I would feel bad about getting rid of it.

Makeup item this month was the Brow Contour Pro from Benefit.  While I enjoyed the benefit brow priducts, I believe in the future I will purchase the Precisely my brow instead of this one.  I just am not a fan of the multiple products in one pen.  It felt like I didn’t get enough of the one product I wanted which was the brow pencil.  I used up my shade rather quickly and then had to work to use up the other products before I felt comfortable letting it go.  So it is is a good product, just not in a form I particularly care for.

This month I used the Speak Deodorant Cream that came in one of my Petit Vour Boxes.  I liked the product and felt it worked well and considering how hot this summer has been it put any deodorant product to the test.

Petit Vour

It worked well but I really didn’t like the cream aspect of it.  I absolutely hated digging out the cream and rubbing it into my arm pits.  Luckily, when I posted my review, a rep from the company actually messaged me letting me know that soon they were going to be coming out with a stick version. Sometime this year was the plan, I’m not certain how recent events have affected their time line, but I will be paying attention. I will keep my eyes peeled for that one to try out. 

If it weren’t for the application, I would purchase this product.  If they make this into a stick form and it performs the same way I will purchase it.  I would not purchase the cream form again because as good as it is, I know I would not use it.  If that doesn’t bother you and you are looking for a natural deodorant, then you might want to check this one out.  Or wait for the stick version.

I had issues with the naked cosmetics lib scrub.  I think that somehow it wasn’t mixed properly as the product looked separated.  One section was dry sugar like granules and one was just oil.  I tried stirring to blend, but it never quite worked for me.  I don’t know if I just got a bad batch or what, but as much as I love lip scrubs, I have to give this one a pass.

As we continue with scrubs, the B Kind face scrub is one that I will be picking up.  I received this in a Petit Vour box, tried it and loved it.  I noticed a slightly waxy residue on my skin afterwards so I always used it as step one in my face wash routine rather than as a stand alone product, but it is very gentle and my skin felt amazing afterwards.  If you are looking for vegan cruelty free skin care, this should be one you put on the list to try. As you can probably tell from the picture, I squeezed every drop of this product from the tube.

There is one toner in my empties bin this month and it is the Martian mattifying melting water gel toner from Sunday Riley.  It was an interesting product to use and on the days where I felt super greasy it worked really well to reduce the oil on my face and reduce break outs.  I couldn’t use it every day because it was too drying, but every once in a while it really did the trick on my breakouts.  While I wouldn’t mind keeping it around, sadly I believe it has been discontinued.

Next I have two products from the brand Avette. Prior to this I tried a couple of their sheet masks and found them generally okay but nothing to really seek out. The first Avette product is the water Flash Coconut Water Cream and the other is the Fresh Clean Coconut Mild Foam Cleanser. 

The Coconut water cream was okay, but not the best moisturizer I’ve used.  I didn’t do a full review on it because the sample tube barely held enough product for three days of use.  While that’s not a lot of time to see how skin care performs, I found that the overly faux coconut scent gave me a bit of a headache.  Because of this I was not inclined to seek out a full sized version of the product. I’m not normally bothered by scents, but this one got to me.

It wasn’t as strong as the mild foam cleanser though.  It was so faux coconut scented that it smelled super perfume-y.   And it didn’t really wash away very cleanly.  It left a residue on my skin that I didn’t care for. I know I said the B Kind scrub also left a residue but for me, the foaming cleanser is the last step of my face wash system. I start with either a cleansing balm or an oil to remove makeup, every couple of nights I’ll add an exfoliant and then I finish with a foaming cleanser before moisturizing. Having the foaming cleanser leave a residue was not good. Although really, it was the scent that got me. I didn’t care for the way the product worked but I absolutely hated the scent. To be honest I can’t recommend either of these products.

I will however recommend the two Volition Products in my empties bin this month.  The Volition Celery Green Clean was an excellent day cream.  I had to use a night cream a couple of times a week after days when I spent a long time outside, but it was a wonderfully light cream over all and I will definitely be picking up another jar. 

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I have to say as an aside, it is super satisfying to see an empty skin care jar. It just makes me feel like I’ve taken care of my skin. And speaking of jars, this one is nice heavy glass with a screw top lid so I will be soaking off the label and reusing the jar. It is only in the empties bin so I wouldn’t forget to mention it now that it is empty. It won’t be thrown away though.

As for the Volition luminizing shield in SPF 50, I ordered a second one as soon as this tube started feeling a little light.  The replacement is actually due in this afternoon according to shipping so I won’t have long to go without this.  It is an excellent light weight sunscreen that sits beautifully under my makeup.  I cannot recommend this highly enough. It is now a summer staple. It has also become the product I compare other sunscreens to. From here on out it will be, is this sunscreen as good as Volition?

And that my darlings are all of the empties from July.

I would like to give an additional mention of one sheet mask I tried this month that I really think is worth mentioning. While I do a Face Mask Friday posts, I often apply sheet masks throughout the week. Some are good, some are bad and some do nothing that is actually noticable.

This was one of the good ones. It is the beaut green Firming Collagen Essence mask.  It came in one of my FaceTory subscriptions and it was a good enough sheet mask that not only does it bear mentioning, but I have put it on my list to reorder.

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My skin felt excellent after using it and I could actually feel a slight tightening in my skin.  This is one of those masks I would definitely consider buying a large pack of and giving a full continued use test to see if there are any longer term results.  With this mask it felt good enough on the skin that I actually think there might be some noticeable results. Perhaps that will be a future skin care test.

For now I will sign off and end this rather long post. I will take the Volition Celery Green cream jar out of the empties bin and set it aside to soak off the label so it can be put to another use. The I will divide the rest of the products into trash and recycling bins as appropriate. Then the empty bin will go back into the bathroom ready and waiting for August’s empties.


Hand Sanitizer by Purlisse

The Empties Bin: June 2020

The products I’ve used up this month

Welcome to the end of the month and a review of the empties bin.  This month I managed to clear out several items that just needed a little push to be used up.  I have makeup, skincare, and bath products this time, so it is going to be a little all over the place. There are links to the products mentioned. The links aren’t affiliate codes, but as everyone is having Fourth of July Sales starting up I added links to the relevant sites. The sale links are affiliate links and should you click on them and purchase something then I may earn a small commission which goes towards hosting this website. If that makes you uncomfortable in any way, feel free to avoid the links. Oh, and the one different link is for the Verb Hair mask. It takes you to a previous review I wrote of the product.

Thet the review of the empties begin!

We’ll start with makeup.  The first two items in this category were not so much used up as rendered useless.  The first of these is the ELF Camo Concealer, which sadly I left uncapped for too long.  It was getting low on product though so the loss wasn’t too great.  It is a good product and one that I will be purchasing again, probably in multiple shades.

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The second item that wasn’t entirely used up is my Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed powder.  I had a very thin layer of product with a lot of pan showing and I thought I could stretch it to last one more week.  Unfortunately, I knocked it into the sink where the remaining product shattered and landed in a toothpaste smear. So note to self, do not balance delicate powder on the edge of the sink after just brushing teeth.

As it has been one of the standbys in my makeup bag for a long time, I will be repurchasing it at some point.  Because it is such a go-to item for me I am refraining from purchasing a replacement right away as I want to try other products and  if I do replace it I will just end up falling back into the habit of using it again.

In this month’s empties there are two empty primers, one old familiar and one that was new to me.  The old familiar was the NYX Pore Filler.  It is one of those reliable formulas that works well under a variety of makeup.  It has a slight tint to it and has been compared to the Benefit Porefessional.

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I’ve bought it several times and I’m sure it will make a return visit to my dressing table and makeup bag at some point, but like my Rimmel powder, I am going to be holding off repurchasing it for a while.  It occurred to me when I was using the last of it that this was the only NYX primer I have ever tried. I know they have many others.  I recently tried the NYX Bare With Me Foundation and I liked it enough that I think I might try the primer from that line as well next time I make a NYX purchase, stepping away from one of my old faves to try something new from the brand.

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The second primer in my empties bin this month was a sample sized primer from Peter Thomas Roth called Skin to Die For. While I wouldn’t go that far, I really liked the way this primer felt on my skin.  It was pore filling and mattifying.  It has a slight tint to it and I found I could wear it alone with just powder on days when I didn’t feel like wearing a lot of makeup.  It gave my skin a very healthy look to it but made it look like I wasn’t wearing anything. A full size is currently sitting in my shopping cart as I try to figure out what other products I want to order with it. I know I’ll have to use up at least one more primer in my dressing table before I open it for use, but if the full size performs like the sample, then I can see it very quickly becoming a staple.

Finally, rounding out the makeup category, I have a sample sized Smashbox Liquid lip.  It is in the Shade Stepping out and it is one I would order again.  I find the Smashbox formula to be a comfortable one to wear.  It wasn’t too drying but it did dry down enough to stay on my lips without leaving lip prints everywhere. 

The only reason that I am not immediately purchasing a full size is that it is in a neutral color and at the moment I seem to be awash with neutrals. I have a couple that are already well loved so I might pick an older one and focus on using it up, but I want to clear out a few more neutrals before adding to their number.  I suspect though that when I do order this, I will order several different shades because it is a good formula.

I know thus far it sounds as though I am in love with everything I try, but I’m afraid that with the end of the makeup, the love fest is going to slow down for a while. 

The next product in my empties bin is the Tula Skin Care Purifying Face Cleanser.  It is rare that I don’t like a cleanser, but I have to say, I did not like this one.  I will say it did take off my makeup reasonably well, but the scent of it is highly perfumed and it is not a perfume I enjoy. 

It smells as though you spilled a bottle of Jean Nate on some lavender sachets and then put them in a tightly sealed bag for a month.  It is a super intense scent that I just don’t care for.  In addition it left a slightly waxy feel to my skin. 

Since I tend to use a balm or oil to first remove my makeup and then this sort of cleanser as my second cleanse, having it leave a residue was not good.  I know everyone seems to rave about Tula Skincare but this cleanser was not for me.  I do have the eye balm from this month’s Boxycharm to try so maybe I will have better luck with it. This cleanser is a hard pass for me.

Next in the empties is the 111 Skin Vitamin C Brightening Booster. This wasn’t a bad product.  It has a pleasant scent, absorbs well into the skin and did have a brightening effect.  I enjoyed using it.  However I have tried other Vitamin C serums that I like better. It is good, but not good enough to justify the price point.  It is one of those products that I would be happy to see appear in one of my subscription boxes, but I probably wouldn’t repurchase on my own.

Something I am on the fence about is the Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm.  It works really well and leaves my skin super soft. 

However if I plan to use it to take off my eye make up I have to take my contacts out first.  I had a little wash into my eyes when I was washing my face and the oil clouded my contacts.  I tried cleaning them but I finally had to concede defeat, the oil wasn’t going anywhere. 

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I wear disposable contacts so it wasn’t a big deal, but when using this cleanser it was something I had to remember. That and the fact that is smells a bit like Vick’s vapor rub are the only downsides.  It was a wonderful cleanser and if you don’t wear contacts I would highly recommend it.  If you do wear contacts, then just be aware of your eyes.

One thing I have no reservations about repurchasing is the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial pads. I would buy these again in a heartbeat.

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They were a very gentle exfoliate that I could use twice daily with no issues at all. The scent was fantastic and the pads were never too wet.  Sometimes to ensure the pre moistened pads don’t t dry out companies soak the pads so you practically have to wring them out before use.  These had just the right amount of serum.  When I reached the bottom, the bottom of the jar was damp but not swimming in left over product and at no point did the product dry out.  I really enjoyed using them and will be purchasing them again in the future.

This month I have two empty tubes of hand cream.  One from Skylar which was a Hydrating Body lotion in the scent Capri and the other  is from Cela and is the Crème de la Crème crème supreme. They were both good hand creams.

I prefer the Cela formula slightly over the Skylar, but neither really made my must reorder list.  They are both good, but I prefer both the Library of Flowers and the Pistache formulas for hand cream. Those two I generally keep reordering. 

The Skylar and the Cela I would use if they were there, but I probably wouldn’t reorder. While this is the only Cela product I’ve tried I have tried other Skylar products before and liked them.  I actually like Skylar perfume very much, in fact, I like the scent of the Capri hand lotion enough I will be looking to see if they have a perfume in that scent.  I’m just not a fan of the cream formula.

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I have two empty bath products this month as we finish out the broad skin care category. The first is the OGXBeauty Pure and Simple Coconut Coffee Scrub and Wash.  The scent was nice.  The coconut and coffee blended together to create a scent that was sweet and more vanilla with coffee undertones than anything else.  Still it is a nice scent. 

While the coconut oil did leave my skin super soft, the exfoliating scrub part didn’t always mix well.  Sometimes I’d squeeze the product out and get almost no exfoliation, other times it was like damp sand. 

I tried squeezing and shaking and turning it upside down to sit for a while.  Nothing really helped.  It was always hit or miss as to whether I was getting any sort of exfoliation or not.  It was a nice wash but I probably wouldn’t get this product again.

Also in the bath time category is the Unfiltered Raw Sugar Salt Soak in the scent watermelon and pink cactus.  This was an impulse buy because I was out of my Kneipps bath salts. While it smells nice in the jar, once added to the water, it loses all scent.  It did make my skin feel nice after my bath, which I appreciated, but for me, part of the pleasure of luxuriating in a bath is scent related.

I liked that it worked well, but I wanted more scent. Or at least some.  While it was nice to try something new, in this case my old standby of Kneipps is what I’m going back to.  I’ll still try others, but I’m going to keep my classics on hand.

The last category we have is hair. I have three items in this category of empties and I saved it for last so I could end this post on a high note.  Because all three are utterly fantastic fantastic.   Two of these products are hair masks.  The first is VERB Manage+Restore Hydrating Mask.  I wrote a post about this earlier (the link will take you to it).  The short version of the post was that it was fabulous.  There was nothing I did not like about this mask.

My conundrum is that shortly after I finished this sample I started a trial with another hair mask.  It is the Naturelab Tokyo Perfect Repair Treatment mask.  It too is fantastic. 

NatureLab Tokyo’s PERFECT REPAIR Treatment Masque

It smells like a high end salon in the best possible way and it gave my hair shine and body.  I had no tangles and my hair looked wonderful. The only complaint I have is with the packaging.  As it comes in a jar, it is a little messy to scoop out.  It is hard to open with wet fingers and I tended to take more than I wanted.  I still adore the product, I just wanted a container that was a little more manageable with wet hands and portion control.

So now I want both masks.  Verb and Naturelab Tokyo.

I also want to try out the shampoo and conditioner from each as well.  At the moment I have several other hair masks to try so I am putting off ordering until I’ve gone through them all.  All but one is a sample size, so it won’t be too long a wait, but it does give me more time to make my selections.  Both Verb and NatureLab Tokyo have set the bar really high though.  I suspect I will end up getting both and then rotating them because quite frankly they are both phenomenal.  

The final item in my empties is a product I have already ordered again.  It is the Klorane Dry Shampoo.  While I like the IGK for massively grungy hair, the Klorane is my standby. 

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This is the dry shampoo I use every other day and the one by which I judge dry shampoos. On the nights I don’t wash my hair, I apply it liberally before bed, go to sleep and in the morning brush my hair.  My hair looks clean and fabulous. There is a little white cast when first applied (I have dark hair) but that soon dissipated by either letting it sit overnight or running a brush through. It is a standard in my hair care arsenal and one that will be bought again and again. In fact, I already have it’s replacement sitting in my bathroom.

So there you have June’s empties. There were some good, some bad and a few mediocre. I find I really like doing this empties review.  It forces me to actually look at the products I have finished and assess my opinion of them now that they are not new and shiny, their productive life complete.   I find it a good assessment.  I hope you find it useful as well.


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