Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Empties Pt. IV

I haven't blogged consistently on here in years (not that I was ever all that consistent) and the last time I did post anything, it was also an empties. But in my defense, I am moving again—this time to Beirut—and there is literally no way I am going to bring my trash with me. So, here we are. I feel like I've worked through a really decent amount of products in the past six or so months. My goal has been to focus on using up samples, in particular. Even though they are free, I have a hard time just throwing them out without using them up first.

I did manage to throw out some fragrances that I just didn't like, or that don't have a spray applicator. And some makeup samples that will literally never be my shade, or are totally out of date, also got the boot. Plus I finally managed to let go of some shattered makeup, but more about that later.  Oh, and just as a note: I won't be talking about literally every product. Just the high- (and low-) lights! First up is the category I am most proud of...

Skincare: Although I rarely finish up a makeup product, I'm pretty good about using up skincare products that I love (despite having so many in my collection). Highlights here include my Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser (I've talked about this in the past, it's great with a Clarisonic, works so well to cleanse my oily skin without stripping, and I'm already on my third bottle). Sunday Riley Luna has been a total game changer (the hype is real, folks) and I purchased another bottle already (I went for the half size, now that Sunday Riley offers that as an option). The Aerin Rose Lip Conditioner was a freebie and it's lovely if you enjoy rose, but I've got enough lip balms for now. Sunday Riley Tidal was a deluxe sample that came after I already bought the full size. In short, I do really like it. When I first started using it, I swore it had a brightening effect on my skin, but now I'm not so sure. Maybe that was just my imagination?

The Omorovicza Hydra Melting Cleanser is waaaaaay too expensive for what it is ($110 on Sephora, although I got it cheaper by ordering from Cult Beauty). I used it as a first cleanse, but it doesn't emulsify very well and was fairly ineffective at actually removing makeup. Will not repurchase. I would repurchase the L'Occitane Cleansing Oil and am on my fourth (or fifth) Sunday Riley Good Genes. Everyone needs this in their life, and I refuse to ever be without it. The Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner was too gentle for me; I like a strong acid! The Timeless Skincare 20% Vitamin C + Ferulic was decent, but I've moved on to the Drunk Elephant Firma-C Serum. Rapidlash is an excellent lash growth product (cheap and I've not experienced any discolouration). Look for it at Amazon or Bed, Bath & Beyond for the best price. Oh, and as soon as I stop using it (like now, because I'm out and haven't had a chance to replace yet) my lashes do tend to fall out. And lastly, the Belif Aqua Bomb has been a favorite of mine, but while I've been testing out different moisturizers, my boyfriend has started using up my samples and he seems to love it (although he is the type of man that uses a 3-in-1 product for his hair, face, and body wash and doesn't understand why I won't let him put body lotion on his face...)

My bodycare was dominated by the Body Shop Body Butters. I had insanely dry skin this winter, so for the first time in my life I started a routine of moisturizing thoroughly after every shower and at night. From the Body Shop, my favorite scent is the Olive, although the Pinita Colada is lush. Don't mind the Satsuma Body Butter...a nail polish exploded on it in my suitcase. I also finished up some Laura Mercier SoufflĂ© Body Cremes from a sampler set I got. I adore the scents in this set, but don't actually think they are all that moisturizing. For body, my favorite moisturizer was definitely the Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Body Butter. Super moisturizing, sinks into the skin, and the scent isn't over powering and doesn't clash with whatever perfume I was wearing. Secret Clinical Deodorant has been my go to for probably about 15 years and even though I don't think I need it anymore, I'm scared to try anything different! The DM Alverde Handcreme is the best thing I've ever smelled. Germans (or those with easy access to DM), I am in envy of you. The scent is Calendula and it is amazing. I need to stock up on these--they are only 1€ a piece!

I combined my hair care empties with my nail polish and makeup empties, since I didn't have enough of any to warrant a separate picture. The Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dry Spun Finish is divine, the Living Proof PhD Dry Shampoo is a fantastic dry shampoo (my fave, in fact), and I really enjoyed the Ouai Texturizing Spray. The three makeup brushes pictured are there because they are getting thrown out! Laura Gellar: no one wants a sponge tipped makeup brush. And the Makeup Geek ones were scratchy and they shed. It was a lose-lose. For makeup, I'm calling time on my Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow (totally dried out and I prefer the ease of Brow Wiz) and my Marc Jacobs (H)ighliners. They dried out super fast. Much disappoint. I was also really sad to toss my Ofra Miami Fever liquid lipstick. I loved this, but it had turned and I couldn't in good conscience hold onto it anymore. I used up another Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara and Maybelline Cat Eyes Mascara, my old faithfuls. I tossed a Bite Double Ended Lipstick (these have the worst packaging design ever; it was inevitable for the lipsticks to get rolled up into the lid. Glad they've been discontinued), a Trish McAvoy eyeshadow primer (the texture was super weird), and a Clinique Aglow blush delux sample that broke. I did buy a full size to replace it, though. Super underrated, particularly if you don't mind a glowy (perhaps even sparkly) blush.

As always, I went through a million packages of miscellaneous brand cotton rounds. It made me miss the Shiseido cottons, so I think I will stock up next time I'm in the U.S. I also used up some shampoo and conditioner samples, and some lipstick samples. Nothing much to write home about there. But I did like both the Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow and Dr Jart+ BB Cream Premium enough to buy full sizes of both. Which, in retrospect, might be overkill...

Ahh, skincare samples.  First up were the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel pads. Some of these were obtained through Sephora sample codes (keep an eye out for's a great deal when they pop op!) but I also bought a pack during last autumn's VIB sale. The Bite Lush Lip Wipes came as part of Bite's Christmas 2015 set and I used them when I was doing lip swatches of all of my lipsticks in an effort to declutter my stash. They felt very nice on the lips, but I don't know if I would have a use for them in every day life. Nothing else from these samples really stood out to me, but they were nice to have for some variety or to take when travelling. And I managed to remember to throw two Tinkle Razors into my empties. As you probably all know, these are for face shaving, aka 'microblading'. I do this occasionally, but not super consistently. No stubble or ingrown hairs, and it does make my skin feel baby soft. But I just don't have the time or energy for super regular upkeep!

In the fragrance category, I used two Bath & Body Works Candles (Praline Pecan Cobbler and Flannel). For actual perfumes, I liked the Moschino Fresh and the Oscar de La Renta Flor, but not enough to buy the full size in either. Dior Sauvage, the two Tom Fords, and Elizabeth & James Nirvana White got thrown out because I strongly dislike the scents. And Tokyo Milk and Atelier Cologne got the boot because they have the worst applicators ever. How are you supposed to put on a perfume with a plastic stick?! Give me a spray nozzle. Kthxbye. I did have a purse spray of YSL Black Opium, but it was a casualty when my boyfriend and I stayed in a hotel located in an old Ottoman House in Ohrid, Macedonia. Adorable room, but zero counter space in the bathroom. A fall to the floor and the bottle shattered. At least it was only a purse spray size!

Those are my empties for now. Let me know what you've been using!

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