Friday, January 25, 2013

November, December and January 2013 Empties


As some of you might have noticed, there was no empties post at the end of last month and that is because I wanted to lump together the products I've used up throughout November, December and January into one post. This will be the last regular monthly empties post for the time being and in a few days you will find out why (a few of you may already know if you follow me on Twitter!)


Of course I've gone through quite a few skincare products these past few months. I used up all my Jurlique Purely Bright Radiance Serum* which I applied every night to reduce my acne scars. Although it is hard to determine exactly how much it helped to speed up the healing process, I actually think it worked and it helped lighten my scars as opposed to not applying anything at all. I would consider purchasing it even though the price is somewhat high. The Caudalie Cleansing Water is a decent makeup remover and I used it when I had only a bit of tinted moisturizer or concealer to remove. I prefer cleansing oils for heavy makeup but cleansing waters are more refreshing and gentle when I'm not wearing too much on my face. Technically I am not completely finished with the Boots Botanics Soothing Eye Makeup Remover but I decanted the half I have left into a flip top bottle as the screw lid was getting annoying. This is a run of the mill duo phase eye makeup remover that works well. I picked up the Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash during their Earth Day recycling event two years ago and I really enjoyed using this cleanser. The minty scent is refreshing and the lather is very thick despite not having sodium laureth sulfate in the ingredients list. I highly recommend this cleanser if you have oily, combination or normal skin. A little goes a long way and one tube will last you ages!


After hearing many raves about Caudalie's Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum, I was excited to get a sample to try out. Although the serum is lightweight and easily absorbed, I felt like I had to use quite a bit to really feel the moisturizing benefits. I think less pricey alternatives could work just as well. I probably don't need to use an eye cream but I'd like to think starting young will postpone the crows feet a few years. The Korres Evening Primrose Eye Cream is a moisturizing eye cream that doesn't really go much in the way of easing lines but it feels very nice after a serum and sinks in well. I think this is a great eye cream if you're only looking for a bit of concentrated moisture. I was hesitant to try the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel because it's loaded with green shimmers. Yes, shimmer. In a cleanser. Why!? Despite the strange look it is a nice non-foaming cleanser that works well after removing makeup with cleansing oil. The scent is quite artificial, similar to many other Mario Badescu products I've sampled. The Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme was a freebie from CVS (join their ExtraCare program and they regularly send coupons for free goodies!) and I used it as a hand cream. It's honestly just lotion in a tiny tub but the scent is really great and it moisturized without leaving a sticky residue.


I received a mini Melvita Rose Floral Water Spray in one of my Birchboxes and I kept it in my everyday makeup pouch to spritz on during the hot summer days and whenever I needed a refresher. I absolutely love the scent of the water and think it's a nice treat to refresh one's complexion throughout the day. The Juice Beauty Oil-Free Moisturizer was another sample from Birchbox and unfortunately I did not get along with it. The texture was very primer-like in that it felt like I was slathering on silicone on my skin. I used this up as a cuticle cream as that's how I use up moisturizers I don't like. The Lashem Measurable Difference Lash Gel was another Birchbox find and the tiny tube lasted me about a month of use. I diligently applied the gel to my upper and lower lashes every night and found that my lashes look a tiny bit longer and just the slightest healthier. I did not get any averse side effects but the first few times I used it my eyelids would get somewhat itchy. The price is too high for a full sized tube but I'm curious to try RapidLash  now. After some success with the Jurlique serum I just mentioned, the Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution was a letdown. This spot reducer is much more liquid in texture and it instantly disappeared into my skin. I tried to use it as a concentrated, targeted treatment by applying it only on top of scars. Perhaps I needed a bigger size to really see results but the two weeks I used it were pretty pointless. The Mario Badescu Kiwi Face Scrub was a pathetic scrub as it was a green cleanser loaded with seed particles that were too big to have any exfoliating effects. The scent was nauseatingly artificial and in general the product did nothing for my skin.


I finished all of my somewhat recent Lush haulings in potted form and I have reviewed all three products in depth previously. I enjoyed the Almond Coconut Smoothie the most followed by the Ro's Argan Body Conditioner followed by the Charity Pot Hand and Body Lotion. Please click through to read more about my thoughts on these Lush products.


I finally used up all of the Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask. Okay, fine, I used up almost all of it.... I had just a tiny bit left (50 grams) before I got super fed up with it and just threw it out. I've had this mask for years and it's taken me forever to use up so much of it simply because I don't enjoy using it. Although it helps dry out pimples and mattify the skin temporarily, I feel like my skin is not clean after I wash off the mask. The scent is not my favorite either and the giant size is somewhat off putting (does that even make sense?!). The squeeze tube seems sanitary but the thick mask is hard to squeeze out and numerous times I've ended up with green clay on my clothes and on bathroom tiles. If you're on a tight budget and are not fussy with your skincare, this is the clay mask for you. The Revlon Colorstay Mineral Mousse Mineral Foundation is hardly used but I threw it out as it was past it's expiration date and the product was clearly separated. I bought this foundation after reading some good reviews online but I stupidly chose the shade in Light Medium which I can only wear in the summer. Unfortunately, the consistency is quite thick and I dislike wearing heavy bases in the heat so I rarely wore this. I believe this foundation is discontinued. Next are a few mascaras that I did not get along well with. The Physician's Formula Organic Wear Mascara was a good deal as it came in a two pack (gave the other to a friend) and there was some sort of sale at CVS. The brush is very thick and the bristles are dense but short. I usually only wear waterproof formulas now but I figured this couldn't be that bad since I used to wear regular mascara all the time. While this thickened my lashes a bit, it smudged really badly and I was always left with panda eyes whenever I wore it. The Blinc Tubing Mascara was a Birchbox sample and I was beyond excited to try it out since I had never tried a tubing mascara before. Basically this mascara coats your lashes with synthetic tubes and you only need warm water to get the tubes off. This mascara did not lengthen, volumize or hold a curl and was a pain to remove. I hated using eye makeup remover for my eyeshadow and liner then going in with a tissue soaked in warm water to remove the tubes. The tubes require a bit of tugging and a lot of time time to remove. Lastly the Covergirl Natureluxe Water Resistant Mascara was my first time venturing into Covergirl mascaras so I was expecting decent results. Unfortunately the bristles seemed a bit sparse and my lashes barely benefited. Also, why make a water resistant formula?! It did not feel resistant at all and it might as well have been a regular formula as my curl did not hold well and I would get mascara smudges by the end of the day.


With my oily combination skin I need to carry blotting papers in my everyday bag and the Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens served me well. I still like the Clean and Clear ones better though! I went through another Soft Lips Lip Balm which I think I will always have on hand. This particular tube actually broke and I had to toss out about the last fifth of the balm. I used up another baby sample of the Dr. Jart Premium BB Cream which has good coverage but I prefer the Dr. Jart Water Fuse BB Cream more. I used up a tube of Smashbox's Photofinish Primer which lasted me ages despite being a small sample. I quite liked this primer as it did not make me break out but I am often too lazy and forgetful to be bothered with face primer. I used up the LiQWd Volumizing Catalyst which was a Birchbox sample but did not see any results at all. It had a cirtus scent and did not make my hair any worse but I will not be trying out the full size.


I go through numerous packet samples regularly but don't often post about them. These were some standout samples that I feel are worth mentioned. The LiQWd Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner were not all that volumizing but they softened my hair and made my locks very sleek. The Amika Nourishing Mask was yet another Birchbox sample and while it looks small, it lasted me about six uses! I only needed a dollar coin sized amount to spread through my hair and it was a nice treatment to repair my hair. The scent was pleasant although a tiny bit strong for my preference. The Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser was a nice surprise because it felt very gentle on the skin and yet it cleansed very well without leaving my skin dry. My skin felt softer after use and I would consider purchasing the full sized bottle.


I threw out two brushes from my collection which rarely happens. I loved my Ecotools Brow and Lash Comb but as you can see the lash part broke quite awhile ago. I forget how that happened.... I finally realized how grimy the brush looked and bought a lash spoolie from Sonia Kashuk and could toss this broken brush out. The E.L.F Studio Angled Liner Brush was great for gel liner or setting my pencil liner. Unfortunately the black paint on the handle started pealing quite badly and the brush head detached. I usually put a bit of clear nail polish whenever my brushes fall apart (happened a few times with my E.L.F Studio Brushes) but the peeling paint meant this was a goner.

If you successfully read this entire post, then I thank and congratulate you! Empties posts are definitely lengthy but very rewarding to write as I get to finalize my opinions on products. What have you finished recently? Were you sad to see it go or excited to get rid of it?

* Products marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by PR companies for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

9 comments:

  1. Good job on all the empties! The Caudalie serum and Queen Helene mask were let downs for me too. Pretty sure the serum is what's breaking me out and the mask does NOTHING at all. Good riddance hey?

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    1. Glad to say the serum didn't seem to make my skin worse but it's just a tad overpriced in my opinion. Mask is not pleasant and isn't worth the trouble :(

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  2. The brush heads on my ELF brushes came off too. I usually just super glue it back together. & So glad to hear I'm not the only one who did not like the Queen Helene mask.

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    1. Yep, ELF brushes aren't the best quality but they're inexpensive and great for beginners :)

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  3. I like reading your reviews of Queen Helene - so funny! To defend it a little bit, it does a good job of drawing out impurities for me. Update: my bf now likes it when I use it on his back. ^_^

    I don't like using face primer. It feels like just another layer which rather than helping to keep the makeup on longer, just makes it look and feel bad sooner. Besides trying the Monistat thing, I also tried benefit's pore-fessional. Idk, lotion with SPF already feels like a primer...

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    1. Haha, it's like you do damage control for Queen Helene XD That's great that you found a good use for it! I'm not a huge fan of primer either. Some primers like the Amazing Cosmetics one really do help minimize the appearance of pores though. I think the key is to use only the tiniest amount on only a few areas where you need it.

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  4. That's a whole lot of empties, great job! I've been on the fence about the Queen Helene mask, think I'm going to skip it for now.

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    1. If you're looking for a mask to fight spots, try the Origins Clear Improvement Mask! :)

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  5. Wow you sure put them to good use. I don't keep track of my empties and I don't feel like I go through them as fast as I should. I have the Revlon Mineral Mousse and if I remember correctly, I think I picked it up during a CVS clearance sale. I didn't like it. It only last like half a day on my face and starts melting off after that.

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