Saturday, 19 September 2015

One YEAR of Empties

On September 16, 2014 I moved to the Balkans. I had vague notions that I would undergo a year-long no-buy and thought it would also be fun to keep track of all of the products that I used up within that year. Apart from a few products that I wasn't able to photograph (including two perfumes: Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and Gucci Guilty), this is the result of the past year.

The majority of items that I used up were skincare-related. I thoroughly enjoyed the Le Jour de Chanel and the Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Skin Tone Correcting Serum. And the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask will be promptly repurchased. Products that I enjoyed less were the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm (I think I like a cleansing oil better than a balm) and the Careprost I bought to lengthen my lashes. It made my eyes red everytime I wore it.

The Master Brush Cleanser, which I picked up at Michaels with a discount coupon, is basically a much cheaper/equally effective version of the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser. I also went through a few body gels, including the Nivea Waterlily & Oil Shower Gel. The scent on this one was beautiful. L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil is an amazing shaving oil, but I don't like the buy the full size so I like on samples like this one. And I obviously liked The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter enough to work my way through two of them!

I managed to use up two excellent foundations: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk  and Bourjois Healthy Mix. I had to throw out my Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in Sancerre, because it was totally dried out. I also am purging my Shu Uemura S Curler as I realized it was chopping off my lashes. But I also worked my way through some old favorites that I've already repurchased including the Marc Jacobs Highliner in Brown(Out), Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, NARS Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eye Primer, and Maybelline Cat Eyes Waterproof. The sample sachet of the It Cosmetics CC+ Cream was good enough to make me buy the full size!

My hair selections definitely slant towards the pricey. I didn't really care for either the Oribe Maximista Volunizing Spray or the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray.  I much prefer the Bumble & Bumble Dry Spun Finish in terms of a texturizer (although I'm currently trying the Dry Bar Triple Sec Spray). The Living Proof PhD Shampoo and Conditioner are good, but nothing super special. But the Living Proof PhD 5-in-1 Styling Cream is fantastic. It helps my hair hold a style and adds shine. I've already repurchased this!

In terms of more practical items, I worked my way through a lot of the Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant and the CVS Eye Makeup Remover. I also used Babyfoot for the first time, which was amazing and disgusting. And I finally used up all of my Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. I wore this just about every night for two years before finishing up the tube. I liked it, but am currently trying to work through other products I have before repurchasing.

In addition to finishing the aforementioned full sizes of Chanel Coco Mademoisell and Gucci Guilty, I used up these fragrance samples. I love the Carven Eau de Toilette, Balenciaga Florabotanica, and all of the NEST Fragrances. I hated the Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black and couldn't even finish one sample.

I'm fairly indiscriminatory when it comes to cotton rounds, but I will admit that I feel a difference when buying ordinary drugstore brands versus the Shiseido Facial Cotton. I will rebuy the Shiseido, but I'll probably wait until I can get it on sale!

I was on a mission to use up a bunch of samples this year, and I think I did ok. I loved the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads and the Dr Brandt Glow Duo. I bought full sizes of both. I also enjoyed the Josie Maran Argan Milk and the Glam Glow Eye Mask is fantastic for mornings when I wake up with a headache.  

As for the Ole Henriksen 3 Little Wonders, I hope Sephora brings back this set as a deluxe sample code on their website. This lasted me much longer than 7 days, as each sachet includes far, far more product than you need to use in one day. The kit is super easy to use (you use a Vitamin C product and a moisturizer in the day, and an AHA gel and moisturizer at night) and it made a huge difference in my skin. I bought the full size of this kit when I realized that I didn't want to live without it.

Whew! Those are all of my samples for now (I've already finished up another three products since taking these photos...maybe a Year of Empties 2016 post is in order!) What have you used up lately? Let me know!

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