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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Clearing out the Empties Bin

Happy Memorial Day! As with a lot of folks I’ve been sorting, cleaning, experimenting, and using the extra time at home to go through things.  Once I started clearing things out, I realized I had a lot of open and partially used travel sized items that I needed to use and clear out so I have been making a concentrated effort to use them up.  It is amazing how much space those little items can take up. 

Plus I am fairly certain I am not going to be traveling any time soon so I might as well use the products now and then just get new travel items when I do travel.  In case you are wondering, that’s also why there are so many travel sized items in this post. I also tend to get sample and travel sized items specifically to try out a formula before committing to a full size.  I find it helps with my budget. But enough of an intro, to the products.

We’ll start with two empties from Sol de Janeiro.  One is the Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and the other is the Coco Cabana cream.  Both are excellent body lotions and in fact the Brazilian Bum Bum cream I have been using to help with the stretch marks that have been appearing as I’ve started losing weight. 

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I actually have a large container of the Bum Bum cream that I am still using, I just wanted to clear out the two smaller ones.  I will definitely be reordering the Bum Bum cream, but I don’t think I will order the Coco Cabana cream.  It is a nice cream and I have no problem with the scent, but for some reason I find the formula just a little sticky.  After applying it I have to wash my hands.  I don’t have to do that with the regular Bum Bum cream. So I will continue to purchase the Bum Bum, but not the Coco Cabana.

Next up we have two empty containers of dry shampoo.  Both actually full size.  The first is the TRESemme between washes volumizing dry shampoo.  While it does have a little bit of a white cast when first sprayed, a quick brush and it is is gone.  I also find that the dry shampoos that have just a little white cast to them tend to work better on greasy hair.  As long as the white brushes out easily, I am fine with it. 

The scent reminds me of a good salon. I’m not entirely certain what that scent is, but that is my best description.  Personally, I like the scent.   As the name suggests it is a good between washes shampoo.  For heavy sweat days I’d still go back to the IGK, but for the day between, this is a really good dry shampoo I would purchase again.

I cannot say the same about the Pearlessence Cherry Blossom Dry Shampoo.  It has a slightly sweet scent that could be termed cherry if you were being generous.  Smell aside, I was not thrilled by the way this dry shampoo performed.  There was a white cast that was a pain to brush out, and it didn’t absorb a lot of the grease. 

My hair didn’t look cleaner, like it did with the TRESemme.  It also made my head itch a couple of hours after I applied. It.  I generally found that shortly after using this , I either needed to use the dry shampoo again to absorb more oil or I just needed to take a shower.  This was not a day between dry shampoo, it was a ‘I can’t shower for an hour’ dry shampoo.  I will not be buying it again.

Keeping with the theme of hair for the moment I have two trial sized hair products.  One is the Eva-nyc Satin Dream leave in conditioner and the other is the Bumble and Bumble Don’t blow it Fine (H)air styler. I would actually purchase full sizes of both of these products. 

I love the argon oil in the eva-nyc.  My hair always reacts well to argan oil.  And the conditioner smells vaguely like candy. It was not too heavy in my hair and gave it great manageability.

The Bumble and Bumble was an excellent product on days where I was just going to let my air air dry.  I could put a little in, let the hair dry naturally and then just run a brush through it, easy peasy.  There were no tangles and it didn’t weigh down the hair.  I think I am actually going to be repurchasing a full size soon as I really don’t like blow drying my hair in the summer time.  I think this could really help me out this year. And yes I know it says for fine hair and I have thick hair, but I tried the one they offer for not fine hair a while back and found it too heavy feeling.  This despite the fine hair claim was perfect for me.

Another item I will definitely be ordering again is the Hydro Biotic Recovery sleeping mask from Dr. Brandt.  During the winter this year this was my go to night cream whenever I felt like I had any dryness.  It wasn’t too heavy, didn’t clog my pores and made my skin feel hydrated and refreshed come morning.  I think when the weather turns in the autumn I will purchase another tube to use throughout next winter.

In my empties bin I have three powders, one pressed and two loose.  The pressed powder is the ELF Perfect finish HD powder.  I will definitely be reordering it in the near future. 

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It is one of those powders I always keep on hand.  What I tend to do is use the ELF translucent powder all winter and then the Rimmel Stay Matte in the summer, just because  my skin tone changes with the season and the ELF is a little lighter.  I almost always order this as soon as I start to see pan on it, but this year I want to give other products a chance.  It is actually killing me to have this empty and know I haven’t reordered it yet.  So suffice it to say it is my favorite.

The first of the empty loose powders I have are the translucent Cherry Blossom Matte powder from Pacifica. This I will definitely re order in the future.  It worked well on my skin and I personally love the scent of it.  It kept my makeup in place and didn’t look powdery on the skin. 

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The second loose powder is the Becca Hydra Mist Set and Refresh powder.  When I first got it I adored it.  It worked well on my skin and it had that nifty, feels wet sensation that got everyone so excited. I’ve also had really good luck with Becca powders in the past.  I generally keep the pink toned setting powder around because I really like it to add a touch of color to the face when winter has made me pale.

However, the wet feeling didn’t last.  Soon it just felt like regular powder.  Which is fine.  I love using powder and the powder still performed well.  I am just a little leery of whatever chemical change happened.  The cooling sensation dissipated rapidly  so  I was always suspicious that the powder went bad.  Because of this I think I will stick to other Becca Powders in the future.

Next up is the Wet ‘n Wild photofocus 3-in-1 Primer water in Rose.  It is a good affordable setting spray.  The Rose scent was a bit much for me, but the spray was nice and it held my makeup in place when I used it.  I will probably repurchase this, but I think I would pick a different scent.  I would probably go with something like cucumber.  The rose was just a bit much. The spray is worth purchasing though.

I have two eyeliners in this bin of empties.  They are both black and they both have a felt tip applicator.  One is the Eyeko London Skinny eyeliner in black and the other is the Illamasqua liquid eyeliner.  I enjoyed both of them and would purchase them both again.  Once in place they didn’t budge or smudge and they were smooth in application and easy to use.

Marc Jacobs

Finally we get to the mascaras.  I have four travel/sample sized ones that are leaving me.  The first is one I am sad to see go.  It is the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara.  I love the formula, I love the wand and I love the way it makes my eyelashes look.  What more is there to say?  It is a fabulous mascara.  I had three of the travel sizes and this is this is the last one.  I will be getting a full sized version of this one.

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Stila

Oddly enough, despite the similarities in the applicator wand, I will not be purchasing the Stila Huge Extreme lash mascara.  It didn’t work as well as Marc Jacobs and tended to clump.  The wand may have been similar, but the formula wasn’t. 

Marcelle

I was pleasantly surprised by the Marcelle Curling and Lengthening mascara.  It both curled and lengthened. The formula stayed in place without flaking off.  It was a very good mascara.  I liked the curve of the wand as it enabled me to more effectively reach my lower lashes as well.  It is one I would definitely pick up again in a full sized formula. 

The Clinique High Impact mascara was also a decent formula.  It stayed in place and didn’t flake, but it was nothing extra special.  It is a good solid mascara, I just didn’t find it to be a WOW sort of mascara.

Clinique

And finally we have the MAC Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash mascara.  I have to say this is the last of these little tubes I have in my collection.  For a while it seemed like they were everywhere.  I’d open a drawer and then BAM, MAC mascara.  It felt like as soon as I finished one, another would magically appear in my drawer. If there are such things as mascara fairies then I think this is what they leave.

MAC

At least for me anyway.  Not that I mind.  It is a really good mascara.  I enjoyed using it.  Once I finished this little tube I went into the drawer and was rather surprised there were no more left.  Apparently I am no longer on the mascara fairy’s delivery route.  I think now that I have one through all of my samples, I would consider buying a regular sized tube of this mascara. It has a nice wand, although it seems a little longer than many others, but I like the way it applies.  The thinness of the wand also allows for application on the lower lashes without making too much of a mess.

So there you have it.  We have made it through my empties bin and I have managed to clear out a bunch of partially used products.  It makes me feel all virtuous inside.  I also now have a list of several products I would like to repurchase and several that I know I don’t need to bring home again.  Given the plethora of summer sales, it is a very good time to stock up on products I like. I just have to remember, I’m not allowed to use a new ELF powder until I have at least tried something else.

I know this was a much longer post than usual, so for those of you who made it to the end, congrats and thanks for sticking with me.  Now that I am doing my weekly makeup bag post, it should help keep the length of the empty posts down in the future (should you want me to continue them).  Happy Memorial Day everyone.  I hope you are having a great one .


Should anyone be interested in doing a little shopping over the Memorial day weekend, there are heaps of sales going on. One that I will be taking advantage of is the sale on the Look Fantastic site. I know normally you think of their subscription box, but they do sell products and they are having some pretty good sales. It might be worth a look to scoop up some of your favorite brands while saving a little. (personally I am all over the Molton Brown Shower Gel – The Rhubarb line is really hard to find where I live.) Anyway, it is linked below for those interested.

https://us.lookfantastic.com/