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. 

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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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The Make Up Bag: June 5th, 2020

The Makeup Bag, used May 30th – June 5th

Welcome once again to The Make Up bag. I had a really good line up this week.  If you read my foundation post yesterday then you know the first item this week was a replacement.  My plan was to use a Nars Foundation however it was just a little too pale for my current skin tone so I replaced it with the Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless foundation instead.  I really enjoyed using it and am quite sad that it is leaving the makeup bag this week so another product can take it’s turn in the rotation.  I really liked it and look forward to seeing it again.

Also covered in a separate post was the Hello, Charmer eyeshadow palette from BoxyCharm.  It was the palette I used throughout the week.  There were some highs and some lows but overall it was a really fun palette to use.

My primer this week was the NYX Professional Makeup Pore Filler Primer.  I really like this primer.  It has a light tint to it and glides on to the skin like silk. It does a fantastic job filling pores and with the Maybelline foundation it made my skin look fantastic. 

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Even without my foundation on the primer made my skin look great. It is actually one of my most used primers.  A little goes a long way, which is why I wasn’t overly concerned by how light it felt when I added it to my make up bag last week.  I ended up having just enough product left in the tube to last the week, although luckily I had one day where I tested the foundation without primer otherwise I probably wouldn’t have had enough.  Regardless, the tube is now empty and will be relegated to the empties bin.  Next week another primer will take it’s place but eventually I will be replacing this primer.  It is a good one to have on hand for everyday use.

This week I also used the Elf Camo concealer.  It is an excellent concealer that doesn’t crease under my eyes.  It also worked as an wonderful  eyelid primer.  It is one that I always like to keep on hand.  It is actually the concealer by which I judge other concealers.  If you are a concealer, you are either as good as or not as good as the Elf Camo concealer.

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It will be rotating out this week and I will not be rotating another concealer in to take it’s place.  Instead, next week I am going to attempt to practice a makeup trick I’ve been hearing about for a while.  It is the using powder after moisturizer and before foundation trick. I’ve watched a lot of back and forth about it so I am going to try it this week. The claim is not only that it helps foundation look better and stay on longer but that you don’t need concealer if you don’t have huge under eye circles. I’ll post my thoughts on that after I try it (along with links to the You Tubers who inspired my attempt to try it).

So instead of a new concealer I will be using the Pretty Vulgar eyelid primer that came in May’s BoxyCharm for my eyelids and I will be rotating in one loose powder and one pressed powder.

That’s right, a new pressed powder. I have been working on finishing up the Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder and I have to say that on Wednesday I thought I was going to have at least one more week with the Rimmel.  It is no hardship as I really like the powder.

But Thursday morning I accidentally knocked it into the sink and it shattered. It was really a thin little wafer of product. It also became spattered with toothpaste residue.

Yeah, so alas we must part and a new product will take it’s place.  I have to say I feel oddly nervous.  My two standard pressed powders are the Rimmel Stay matte and the Elf Translucent.  I finished up the ELF a few weeks ago and decided not to replace it so I could try new products.  I didn’t worry because I still had the Rimmel.  Now it is gone so I’m working without a net this week.  I have no familiar standby should something go wrong. I know it sounds silly, but I really can’t remember when I didn’t have a Rimmel compact in my make up drawer. Even when I didn’t wear any products other than powder, mascara and lip gloss, I always had the Rimmel around. It feels really strange to let it go. I am sure at some point it will return.

But as we move on we come to bronzer.  This week I used the Too Faced Chocolate Gold Bronzer.  It too joined my collection via Boxy Charm and while I have used other bronzers by Too Faced and liked them I was a little hesitant about the shimmer.  To be honest, it wasn’t really noticeable. 

That may just be my skin tone, as gold tones really work well with me.  It added a little depth to the color, but it wasn’t highlight adjacent, which is what I was worried about. It could be a little dark when first applied but it blended out well and was an excellent product to use.  I really liked this and look forward to using it again.  I also have to say, I really love the sleek packaging of the compact as well as the yummy chocolate scent. It definitely stays in rotation.

This week I got to use one of my favorite blushes and that is the Benefit Gold Rush Blush.  It too has a bit of a gold twinkle too it and I was hesitant about it, but it is an excellent color on me and it blends really well.  I am sad to see it rotate out at the end of the week, but needless to say, it will be returning and it will be returning often. I really need to take advantage of their current sale and maybe try a different blush from them, but I really like this one so chances are I’ll just buy a backup. That’s not a bad thing of course. Although if the Gold Rush is part of a blush palette I might try that instead. I could get my favorite AND try something new. I know, you probably didn’t need my inner dialogue as I talk myself into buying blush, so we will move on to Highlighter (and post the sale link in case I’m not the only one eyeballing it.)

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This week I used the Steve Laurant Jelly highlighter as my highlighter of the week.  It was an interesting product to use. It took me a little while to play with it and I have to say the trick is to use your finger to apply it and not a brush.  If you use a brush you will either blend it in too much so it disappears or you will end up with a blinding stipe that looks like you are attempting to be some sort of photonegative of an old school football player. (Do they still use the black stripes under their eyes?)

Using your finger is the way to go with this.  Apply it and the gently blend with the fingertips and it is a stunning highlighter that is not too much. It is just enough for everyday wear.  If you are a blinding highlight sort of person, just don’t blend it in as much.  Either way, use your finger, not a brush. It took me a few days to come to terms with this highlighter, but now, I think we are friends.  I will be keeping this in rotation.  I won’t know for sure if I would buy it again until I use more of the product.  I think it’s going to be one of those decisions I make once I think I’m running out of it, which could take a while because its a large pan. I really like the gold tint of it, but I am not certain I would care for a silvery or pink shade. But as it is a relatively full product, I have plenty of time to decide.

With regards to lips, I had three products to choose from this week.  I kept the Ciate Watermelon lip oil around because I liked it and wanted to have a lip oil around.  It has a slight watermelon taste to it and a more pronounced scent.  It is very summery and it really helps hydrate my lips after time in the sun. I have to say in general, I have really been impressed with Ciate products lately.

I also had a sample size of the Smashbox Liquid lipstick in the shade Stepping Out.  It is an excellent nude shade that on me at least doesn’t make my lips disappear into the skin. (it is the top swatch on my hand photo) I like the formula as well.  It dries down so that after about five minutes it stops leaving lip prints all over my coffee cup, but it never dries down all the way so my lips never felt parched.  Oddly enough with all my hand washing on the day I took a photo of this swatch at the end of the day I still had to use a make up remover to remove the remnants from my hand. It has great longevity and is very comfortable to wear.  It is however, the end of this samples life cycle.  There are only the dim traces of product left on the insides of the tube.  It will be journeying to the empties bin.  However, I do like the color and the formula enough that I will be looking at Smashbox and picking up several shades in the future.

Because I highly doubted that the Smashbox sample would last the week I added a second sample size lipstick to my make up bag and that was the Bite bullet lipstick in the shade Rhubarb. (lower swatch on the above hand swatch photo) It is a comfortable lipstick to wear.  It doesn’t dry down and will leave lip prints on drinks, but it doesn’t really smudge or get on your teeth.  It doesn’t make your lips feel dry or feel waxy and it has a pleasant scent.

To be honest, it actually smells a little bit like the rhubarb and strawberry jam my grandmother used to make.  There is no pronounced strawberry, but there is something sweet tempering the scent of tart rhubarb.  On the days I wore this I needed to reapply the lipstick after lunch, but I am okay with that given that it is a more traditional lipstick.

Since this sample size is not yet spent, it will be going back in rotation.  As the color is a nice reddish shade that I can wear with almost anything, I suspect that once this sample is used up, I will be purchasing a full size.  I just want to use the sample first to see if there are any hitches before I buy.  If there aren’t I suspect I will be purchasing several shades as I really do like the lipstick formula.  It actually shouldn’t come as a big surprise to me that I like it as I have been using their products for a while.  I used to get family in Canada to send down a care package of things I couldn’t get here and I have been using their Agave lip mask nearly nightly for the past few months as well.

Next in my line of products I have the Doucce Punk Volumizer mascara. It is a decent mascara.  It doesn’t flake off and lasts throughout the day.  It doesn’t clump or stick either. It has a big fluffy brush and if you work with it, the lashes to look lengthened.  You just really have to work with it. 

If you want volume, you are going to need to make at least two passess.  It is one of those products that qualifies as fine but a little disappointing.  I think the disappointment comes from the fact that volumizing is in its name.  It is something I will be using up, because there is nothing wrong with it, but this is not a mascara I will repurchase. There are other products I like much better. But it is decent enough to keep in rotation and use up.

The Skone tattooed waterproof eyeliner also falls into this category.  It is good, it works well, but it isn’t as smooth an application as my Eyeko so I probably wouldn’t repurchase it.  I will keep it in rotation though until it is used up. 

Actually I don’t like to open a lot of calligraphy pen eyeliners at one time so I only have two open at the moment (this and the Eyeko Fat Eyeliner) so I will be alternating between them for a while.  At least as far as the pen style goes, I have a couple of pencil style ones I use as well, but they don’t dry out like the pens so it is less of an issue.

Next we have the wet ‘n wild ultimate brow kit in ash brown.  I picked this up when I picked up the foundation and I have to say I really had no expectations.  I just thought it would be interesting to try.  It comes with a set of tweezers and a small brush.  The tweezers are tiny but okay, the brush is fine.  I could see both being handy if you were traveling with this. 

I like that behind the tools is a small mirror for an up close view, although from the brush my mirror is already too smudged to be of use. There are three products.  Two powders, one darker one lighter and one cream highlighting pan. The dark powder is far too dark for my eyebrows but the lighter shade works perfectly for me and I did enjoy using it. 

The cream is utterly pointless.  It is hard to use and not very effective.  Plus, it soaks up every stray molecule of powder that comes its way so you have to scrape the top clean before each use.  I like the idea, but the function was a fail.  I think that what I am going to do this week is keep this product around, use the powder and add a stick contour highlighter to go with it. I know it defeats the purpose of the kit, but I want to see how I feel about the brow powder when I don’t have to think about using the contour.  I suspect I will like it a lot better, which will help me to know should I find that wet n’ wild sells just the powder outside of the kit. It is a very reasonably priced product so I think it would be worth knowing.  So a second week for the kit and a determination of possible repurchasing to follow.

This leads us to the final Item in this week’s bag and that is the I heart Revolution Fixing Spray in the scent Peaches and Cream. What can I say?  The product is a winner.  It smells nice, it works fantastic and not only am I keeping it out for another week but I am contemplating picking it up in several more scents.  It is a great product and will remain in the bag for a second week.



So those were the products I used this past week, the good, the bad, the frustrating and the pleasurable.

Next Week’s selections for the Make Up Bag

For the upcoming week, the Revolution Fixing Spray will stay as will the wet ‘n wild brow kit. Joining it will be the Billion Dollar Brows Highlight and contour stick. I chose the ELF Bite sized palette in Cream and sugar and added a couple of KVD Beauty single shadows to extend it a little, as well as a KVD Beauty eyeliner. I’ll be using a Fenty Beauty cream Highlighter and a trestique cream bronzer For my lips I’ve got the Luna by Luna lip oil, Thrive cosmetics lip gloss and Maybelline Ink crayon to try. 

I’ll also be using an Hourglass blush, Illamasqua primer, Kevyn Aucoin mascara and an Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation. Finally, for powders I will be using a Ciate loose setting powder and trying out a No. 7 pressed powder as well. A few of the products I have tried before, the Tristique is actually on my permanent favorites list and is actually close to being used up.  Most of the products I chose this week are either entirely new to me or things I’ve only tried once or twice before. It should make it an interesting week.


Blinc Tubing Mascara