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. 

Glossy box:
20% off 3 month subscriptions! Use code 20OFF3

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.

Minimize pores and dryness with Benefit’s NEW The POREfessional: Hydrate Primer!

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. 

Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

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.

Facetory: Four-ever Fresh Subscription!

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 Anti-sunscreen for people who hate sunscreen; Reviewing the Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield with SPF 50

Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50: This product was sent to me for reviewing purposes, the opinions however are all mine.

I have always had a love hate relationship with sunscreen.  As a kid I remember being lathered up before being sent out for summer play.  While I never minded my arms and legs being coated and I loved that my parents let me play outside longer if I was wearing it, I hated when the sunscreen was applied to my face. Invariably it would either get washed onto my lips where it would taste nasty or it would get washed into my eyes making them sting and burn for the rest of the day.

As I grew up, sunscreen got better and while most of it doesn’t taste any better than it did when I was a child, most of it stays in place.  Still I hate putting sunscreen on my face.  I know that is the one place I really need to put it, but I have to admit, I usually don’t.  I spray my whole body down with sunscreen, more vigilantly now that I had that painful early spring burn, but I still avoid my face. 

Instead I layer products like I’m creating the great wall of SPF.  “Oh this has SPF 10, I’ll put it on and then add this product that has SPF 30.” It’s a construction project.  I know I need to get over it, but I’ve had a hard time finding a product I like.

However, Volition Skincare sent over three products for me to try and the first item I pulled out of the box was the Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF50. I had to laugh because right on the top of the box it says “Sunscreen for the Sunscreen Haters.”

It’s like they knew.

Or I’m not the only one to hate sunscreen.

I prefer the term skin care psychics, but that is just me. I should point out they don’t claim to be psychic an any way shape or form. But Volition is a really interesting company even without the tarot card possibility.

If you go to their main page there is a section where you can submit an idea for a product. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can submit an idea for a product you would like to see available for purchase.  The idea then gets submitted to a vote by their beauty community.  If it gets enough votes then their team goes to work creating the product. All of their products are certified clean and cruelty free with no animal testing and no parabens or sulfates. Incidentally, the links posted are for volitionbeauty.com which only ships to the US and Canada. If you are outside the US or Canada then @cultbeauty ships Volition Beauty worldwide, and @meccamaxima / @meccacosmetica ship to Australia and New Zealand. 

Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

There is a whole section where you can shop the winners and I have to say, I really like going onto the site to see who came up with what. You can also take a skincare quiz to determine which of their products might be right for your particular concerns so you don’t spend a boat load of time staring at a product and trying to guess.

But back to the sunscreen for the sunscreen haters.

The box clearly looked like it was aimed at me.  I opened it and the first thing I saw was a little card telling me that this innovative product was created by a woman named Aja.  It had a picture of her and a little bit about her on the back. I thought that was really neat. It’s rare that you actually get a name to go with a product.

But Aja made this, or at least came up with the idea while a team of highly skilled professionals brought her idea to life.  But what do they have to say about what they created?

Bare face

The Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF50 (retail $35) is…

The anti-sunscreen for the sunscreen haters. It’s never greasy, smelly or thick. It’s daily protection you’ll actually want to wear. It is a weightless, breatheable formula with broad-spectrum sun protection, luminous, pearl-like finish and a light, neutral scent.  It addresses skin protection, dry skin, and dull skin and is good for all skin types.

Shake well. Apply over entire face 30 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply at least every 2 hours or as needed. Can be worn alone or under makeup. Use a water-resistant sunscreen if sweating or swimming.

Not too shabby.  And I like that it is SPF 50.  In my attempt to layer to build a wall of SPF on my face without actually using sunblock, I try to get as close to 50 as I can get. 

Before rubbing the sunscreen in, there is a white cast that disappears quickly

So knowing who made it and what it is supposed to do, I took the product out of the box.  I know appearances aren’t everything and that I shouldn’t focus on the shallow packaging, but this is a good looking bottle of sunscreen.

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting that.

I think because sunscreen is such a utilitarian item that just gets tossed in a bag and kicked around at the beach or pool side that it always looks like a basic plastic squeeze bottle with maybe a pretty or fun decal on the front. This may be a tube you can squeeze, but everything about it says skin care. It looks like it belongs in the bathroom next to your serums and moisturizer and not something you’d chuck in a kid’s pool bag with the goggles.

Don’t get me wrong, those items have their place.  I have quite a few of them stationed around the house. They are an essential part of my summer. But I needed something to put in the bathroom with my skin care. Because like skin care, I needed to make it part of my routine. I knew that was the only way I was going to get into the habit of putting it on. So I took the bottle from the box, moved it into the bathroom and began using it.

For the past two weeks, this anti-sunscreen has been part of my morning routine.  I put it on after I finish my skin care, but before I put on makeup.  There is no real scent to the product so anyone out there who is sensitive to scents should have no problem. 

The consistency of the product is like a thin primer or a water cream moisturizer.  It has some body to it, but it leans towards the liquidy side. To apply, I dispensed a pea sized amount into my palm and rubbed my hands together then applied it to my face. It sort of spread out as it hit my hand anyway so I just let it follow it’s natural inclinations. Easy peasy. 

Just the sunscreen on my face

On first contact there is a little bit of a white cast. (see the above picture) The first time I applied it I started to get concerned that I was going to spend the day looking like a mime, however I rubbed it in a little bit and the white disappeared almost instantly.

While I don’t want to walk around with the white sunscreen face all day, I do like that at first touch it is a little white.  This lets me see where I’ve put it to ensure full coverage before I rub it in. 

True to their claims, it feels weightless on the skin and is not greasy.  It is however quite luminizing.  Just like the really pretty bottle, I wasn’t really expecting that. And yes I know it says it in the title, it is just brighter than I expected.

I tend to go for matte primers and foundations.  For me the matte balanced it out well.  With the matte foundation on top of it, I had no problems, it was actually quite nice paired with it and gave the matte product a little depth.  I could not use a luminizing primer or foundation with it as it was too luminizing for me.

Makeup over the sunscreen, I used the Purlisse BB Cream over it with no primer for this photo

I should also say that the day I tried a luminizing foundation, no one had issues with the extra luminosity but me. I even got a compliment on my glow, so I think that is really just my personal preference.  If you like luminosity then you are good, if you aren’t a fan, use a matte product over it.

No matter what product I used, the sunscreen sat well underneath the makeup.  I had no problems with reactions between the sunscreen and my foundation. They played well together and I didn’t break out in a welter of clogged pores. There were, in fact, no extra break outs. (The stress related ones I had spent the night with some Peace Out dots, but no new ones appeared.) 

In the description it is recommended that if you are going to sweat or go in the water you should look into a waterproof product.  While I didn’t go swimming while trying this (because that isn’t what it is meant for and at this time the pools near me are still closed) it is June in Tennessee and you can’t step outside without sweating.  If the heat lets you go then the humidity will insure the sweat rises to your brow, among other places.  As my neighbor likes to say, this is the season where you get the air you can wear, the unavoidable fashion accessory.

So there was sweat.

You know what there wasn’t?

Stinging eyes.

Well, the sweat stung a little because it’s salty, but it didn’t burn like acid.  There were a couple of days where it was hot enough to melt your skin off of your bones and I was standing outside with a mask on. I know some of it dripped into my eyes.  There is no doubt about that. The product not dripping would be an impossibility.  I think I sweated out water I drank three years ago on those days, so there was no defense for anything topical. 

But there were no burning, pain filled eyes, so I am taking that as a win.

And no I am not going to squirt it directly into my eyes to double check. 

Although I have to confess, I did put a little on my lips to taste since the mask kept my lips safe and secure, along with my lungs and the rest of me. It didn’t really taste of anything. I’m not going to go putting it on an ice cream sundae or anything, but the accidentally tasting wasn’t horrific.

Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

To be honest, this sunscreen passed all of my tests with flying colors.  No gag worthy taste, no burning eyeballs and it was easy to remember to apply because it sat with my skin care and became part of my daily routine. Applying it became a habit, one I hope to maintain.

The Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield didn’t make me break out. It didn’t make me feel greasy.  It felt weightless on my skin and it provided me with SPF 50 level protection for my face without having to do a construction game with other products. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still favor a lot of products with built in SPF, especially in the summer time, but I really like not having to rely on them. I really like having the good sunscreen underneath so that anything layered on top is just extra, not vital.

And oh yeah, no sun burn even though I spent loads of time outside in the hot, hot sun.

Seriously, this made sunscreen part of my skin care regimen instead of something I hated and tended to forget. I honestly didn’t think that was going to happen. I suppose the only question that remains is whether or not I’m allowed to send Aja a thank you note.

Because this was a very good idea.


Remember the links in this post are for volitionbeauty.com which only ships to the US and Canada. Mostly because I am located in the US. Even if you aren’t in the US it is well worth poking around on their site. If you are outside the US or Canada then @cultbeauty ships Volition Beauty worldwide, and @meccamaxima / @meccacosmetica ship to Australia and New Zealand. I love that this sunscreen is available worldwide.

Volition Beauty|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling