Ah, it's time for the final empties recap of 2014. How crazy! Another year has gone by and I have the empty bottles and jars to show for it. This pile of empties seems a lot bigger than previous roundups and I'm excited to publish this post so I can recycle and chuck away these bits from my room.
Nuxe Reve de Miel Hand Cream (sample) - I found to be just OK in terms of formula but it was way too strongly scented.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream - Another one of these bites the dust and I know I will repurchase it because it is one of the few moisturizers that soothes my dry, ashy skin without feeling too heavy or greasy.
Lancome Comforting Creamy Foaming Cleanser (gift with purchase) - I used this as a body wash instead of a face cleanser because it was very heavily scented. The scent wasn't bad but I didn't feel that it was hydrating nor particularly gentle. I like Lancome's makeup offerings but their skincare doesn't interest me.
Kneipp Lavender Herbal Bath (sample) - I don't often take baths because showers are much easier and efficient but this was a joy to use right before bed time. The lavander scent was noticeable without being overly cloying and the oil produced a light froth in the bath as well. The only downside was the bright blue dye which stained hands if you touched the oil directly by accident.
Klorane Dry Shampoo (sample) - I kept this little guy at work to refresh my hair if I was going out later in the evening. I've used multiple bottles of this dry shampoo and it will always be a favorite staple because it blends out without leaving a white cast in my hair and makes my hair feel much cleaner and more voluminous.
Loreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm - You can't really see this tub in the above photo but you can get a better view of it in the first picture in this post. My friend included this hair mask in my Christmas present last year and I was pleasantly surprised by it. Even though it's from the drugstore, it works incredibly well at softening my hair without making it feel greasy or slippery. I will look into trying out other Loreal hair masks in the future.
Number 4 Volumizing Shampoo, Clarifying Shampoo, Moisturizing Shampoo and Reconstructing Masque (samples) - Can you believe these little bottles of shampoos lasted me for the past few months with consistent use? I adore all the Number 4 hair care products I have tried so far and I've tested most of the brand's offerings already. All the shampoos do what they claim and two quarter sized drops are all you need for long hair. The brand is also sulfate free, paraben free, gluten free and vegan.
Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Brilliance and Shine (samples) - I don't keep all my packet samples to show for empties posts but I try to save the ones that stood out to me. I used about three quarters of each of these packets for one shower and my hair was so clean yet soft and manageable.
Davines Oi All In One Milk (sample) - I use this leave-in hair treatment like I would a hair oil and like the lightweight, non-silicone feel. It is meant to protect the hair from damage although my long locks had so many split ends that I don't think anything could have repaired them. I just got a major hair cut yesterday so now I'm sporting something like a long bob. I know, I'm so late to the lob party but my hair was so damaged that it really needed a major chop and I wasn't feeling a real bob again.
Avene Eau Thermale (sample) - Yes, this is water. But it's the misting mechanism that wins me over on this particular can of water. The mist is super fine and so nice for refreshing tired, dehydrated skin.
Avene Micellar Water (sample) - When I first tried cleansing waters, I didn't like most of them because they either smelled weird, didn't do an effective enough job of cleansing or left a tacky feeling on my skin. I'm happy to report that along with Bioderma, this is one of my favorite cleansing waters. I used this only when I wore light base makeup and didn't want to use a cleansing oil or balm.
Avene Hydrance Optimale Rich Hydrating Cream (sample) - I thought this would be similar to the La Roche Posay moisturizers but this wasn't as good. It felt heavier on the skin and didn't absorb as easily. I used this on days when my skin felt very dehydrated as a night cream.
Avene Triacneal - I really enjoyed this acne treatment because it was gentle yet effective. This is like the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo but it worked better for me. I bought this in Paris and it's not readily available in the states for a comparable price so I won't be able to repurchase this until I travel to Europe again....
Marcelle Eye Makeup Remover - I never met a duophase eye makeup remover I didn't like and this is no exception. This does the trick and doesn't cost a pretty penny. Marcelle is easily accessible for Canadians but Americans can get this through Birchbox.
Biore UV Perfect Milk Sunscreen - This bottle fooled me in terms of how long it lasted. I thought it would be easy to use up but no, it took my many many months. I really liked this in the beginning because it is a lightweight, watery sunscreen that blends into the skin effortlessly. But towards the end I got pretty tired of it for some reason. I even slathered this on my neck and arms when I was in Hawaii in an attempt to use more of it up but it persisted until the end.
Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate* - I'll tell you now that this serum made it into my top products of 2014 post which will see soon. This serum smoothed my skin and calmed it. It doesn't really add moisture or lessen the marks of hyper pigmentation but it definitely makes my skin feel nicer. I think it refines the texture of my skin while still being gentle and non-fussy. It has a pleasant scent and an easily absorbed formula that never feels tacky.
SKII Facial Treatment Clear Lotion (sample) - I used this as a toner and found that it seemed to help my skin more than the super popular Facial Treatment Essence. I don't think this is a necessary component to my skincare routine and just not worth the cost.
IOPE Bio Essence - When I finish the SKII Facial Treatment Essence, I will go back to the IOPE Bio Essence. It's much less expensive (although still pricey) and it works pretty much the same. I'm going to stop using any "treatment toners" for a few months to see how my skin reacts and if it takes a turn for the worse, I'll gladly repurchase this again.
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (sample) - I've read both good and bad reviews of this oil but I personally had fantastic results every time I used this on my skin. I used this small sample in the evenings that my skin felt like it needed a boost and every morning after my skin was always more plump and soft. I only used about two drops per application so this sample lasted me ages.
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for Sensitive Skin (sample) - I really enjoy this glycolic acid peel for taking off dead skin cells and smoothing my complexion. This version is meant for sensitive skin but I can definitely feel the heated tingle from the acid so I would recommend patch testing this before slathering this all over if you have sensitive skin.
Clarins UV Plus HP Sunscreen (sample) - I had used up a full sized one of these before and while it was OK, it wasn't my favorite sunscreen by far. It can feel greasy at times and for the price, I'd recommend the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream over this. Maybe if you have dry skin, you'd prefer the Clarins.
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Liquid Nose Pack - I have about half of this tube left but I'm chucking it because this was such an utter disappointment. This is a mask is similar to the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask (which I also didn't like) but it was so weak that it did nothing to draw out impurities.
Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix (sample) - I was recommended this by an acquaintance after I had mentioned I liked the Urban Decay Setting Spray. While this was an alright setting spray, the spritzing nozzle doesn't dispense as fine of a mist as the Urban Decay one. I prefer the Urban Decay setting spray over this one mostly due to the packaging.
Soft Lips Lipbalm in Vanilla - I go through these regularly although I have quite a few lipbalms on rotation at the moment. I'll always go back to Soft Lips because they're a great drugstore lipbalm with SPF.
Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara (sample) - I liked the curved wand on this mascara but the formula was a bit too wet and it globbed onto my lashes. If this had a drier, waterproof formula, this could be a winner for me.
Maybelline One By One Waterproof Mascara (sample) - I remembered I had liked this mascara in the past but while it still gives decent separation and curl, I found it to flake quite a bit. Having to check for bits of smeared mascara on my face every few hours was not fun.
Marcelle Twist Up Mascara - This mascara is really cool because you can twist the cap to change the design of the wand. I preferred it when the wand was squished together to give more volume. But the formula was too wet and clumpy.
Buxom Insider Eyeliner in Chocolate Citrine - I received this eyeliner in a set for my birthday years ago and I've turned to it many times since then. I like bringing this retractable liner on trips and the formula was creamy yet long lasting. I had a bit of this left and was trying to use it up but the liner snapped from the base and the product fell out and was rendered an empty.
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder - It's embarrassing to admit but this is the first powder I ever bought. That means this is probably about five years old..... I used this a lot and managed to get quite a lot of pan to show but I think it's about time this gets sent to the dump. For a drugstore powder, this is a good one. It mattifies without looking overly powdery or dry when used lightly. However the matte finish doesn't last long throughout the day. The packaging is awful as the cap comes off too easily.
Benefit Erase Paste (sample) - This concealer took SO LONG to use up but I'm so proud to have stuck to it. I used this mostly under my eyes because the salmon color countered dark circles wonderfully. I really enjoyed this concealer but will not repurchase as I have many others to use up and others on my wishlist to try.
Lioele Beyond the Solution BB Cream (sample) - I liked this BB cream but not as much as the Lioele Water Drop BB Cream. The two are similar but the Water Drop version is a touch more hydrating as its name would suggest. If you have a light complexion and are looking for a true Korean BB Cream, the Lioele ones are a solid choice.
Folle de Joie Eau de Parfum (sample) - I'm not big on fragrances but I can say with certainty that I like Joie's fragrance. This floral scent is fresh and feminine without being sweet. It lingers for the whole day to the point where it can sometimes give me a headache but pretty much all fragrances do that.
In 2014 I've definitely become more strict with myself when looking for old products to toss and unloved products to give away to friends. These two Mac lipsticks no longer have their vanilla scent and it's time to retire them to the Back to Mac section. On the left is the Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Bare Again, a lovely MLBB shade that I enjoyed for awhile. The formula is creamy and comfortable but sometimes it settles into lip lines and looks very unflattering. On the left is my first Mac purchase ever, the limited edition Viva Glam Gaga 2. Back then I was into the whole nude lip thing but I didn't have many places to wear this that it wouldn't look completely odd. The tones are too brown for my complexion.
A few other lipsticks that I had high hopes for but ultimately no longer suit my fancy that I will pass onto friends. On the far left is Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in Corail en Vogue, a light tangerine that I imagined would look coral on my lips. Unfortunately it looks more like a peachy nude that clashes with my skintone. I don't find I can rock a nude lip anymore. Then there's Makeup Store's Lipstick in Summer. This is a bold coral red with a hint of pink flashback that is really interesting but the formula doesn't sit well on my lips and the color looks very strange on me. I can imagine this being beautiful on some other people but for me, just no. Revlon's Colorburst Lipsticks in Soft Nude and Peach are also finding better homes. At one point, Soft Nude was one of my favorite lipsticks (back when my makeup collection was much smaller and I was in love with nude lippies). It's still a nice lipstick but I hardly wear nude lips anymore. Peach never looked right on me. It looks like a lovely color in the tube and swatched on my hand but it doesn't translate right on my lips.
I depotted NYX's Jumbo Eye Pencils in Cottage Cheese, Yogurt and Iced Mocha ages ago because I thought they'd be handier in pots than in pencil form since I didn't have a sharpener wide enough at the time. Shortly after depotting these, I realized I liked these way better in pencil form. I hardly reached for these after I depotted them. Surprisingly, these creams have not dried out at all and are still really pretty. I just have too many cream shadows that I would rather use to keep these sitting around.
If you read even half of this post, I applaud you. My fingers are now exhausted from typing and I'm glad that I finished this recap before the new year. What products did you finish this year that you were especially happy with?