February/March 2016 Empties

It has been far too long since my last post and for that I must apologize. It has been a very hectic couple of months and I simply have not had as much time as I would like for fun stuff (like sampling and writing). However, I have managed to try some new products and even finished a few in the past several weeks. Here’s a look at my empties for February and March:
February & March 2016 Empties
Dove Purely Pampering Sweet Cream Beauty Bar: I picked up a duo of these beauty bars after trying a body wash that left me broken out and very unhappy. I chose the sweet cream version because of it’s light, sweet scent – very feminine but also very mild. Nothing earth shattering here but it gets me clean without the addition of pimples and it smells nice. I’d buy them again.

Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask: This has got to be my favorite new beauty thing; it’s certainly the best sheet mask I’ve ever tried. It’s drenched in a super-moisturizing formula that soothes the skin and left me looking and feeling fresh and glowy for the rest of the day. Bonus: you can freak out your pets by looking like a serial killer when you put it on.

Make Dual-Phase Eye Makeup Remover: This is my all-time favorite eye makeup remover. It’s gentle and effective, lasts for a ridiculously long time, is a pretty pink color and comes in a cool square bottle.

Lady Speed Stick Invisible Dry Powder Fresh Antiperspirant/Deodorant: I bought this for 99 cents one day when I was feeling nostalgic for the days when I used to swear by powder fresh deodorant. It’s a solid deodorant (see what I did there?) and kept me fresh and sweat-free.

Covergirl CG Smoothers BB Cream: This is not new to my blog or to my empties. My classic winter BB cream, it’s still moisturizing, easy to use and light enough for my ghost-like winter complexion. Still a winner.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths: Another empties MVP, these wipes are great for those days when you just cannot be bothered to properly wash your face.

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara: This mascara is quickly becoming one of my favorites. It’s dark and dramatic and lasts all day without flaking or smudging. Plus I love the unique packaging and curled wand. If you haven’t tried this mascara yet, do yourself a favor and buy some right now.

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January 2016 Empties

Since we’re smack dab in the middle of winter, it’s no surprise that my most recent batch of empties includes skincare standbys and some soothing hair products. Let’s take a look:

  
Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula: This easy to use 2-step anti-aging treatment has been a favorite for years now. It smooths without irritating my skin and helps fight winter flakiness. I was thrilled to receive this little three-pack as a freebie with my last Sephora purchase. 

Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Moisturizer: The only thing better for my winter complexion than the above-mentioned peel is following it up with a generous layer of my favorite moisturizer. This skin-softening, ultra-hydrating moisturizer is my winter favorite. 

Davines LOVE Shampoo & LOVE Conditioner: I didn’t love this smoothing shampoo on its own – it made my locks a little limp – but paired with the conditioner it left my hair soft and bouncy. It also kept my scalp moisturized. I’m really not a fan of its heavy floral scent, so I won’t be purchasing it again. 

Dove Advanced Care Beauty Finish Anti-perspirant Deodorant: I don’t know about the “beauty finish” part, but I loved the clean scent of this deodorant and it left me fresh all day long. A solid pick. 

October/November 2015 Empties

Happy holiday season beauties! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write a real post; I’ve been having some serious technical difficulties but they appear to finally be resolved! Since I was unable to share my empties at the end of last month, I’m combining October and November into one:
Empties
Suave Naturals Almond Verbena 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner: I am obsessed with this shampoo. It’s responsible for every good hair day I had during the past two months! It was conditioning enough to be fine on its own without ever making my strands look or feel greasy. It made my hair feel light and clean and smelled lovely. I’ll definitely be buying this again.

Tocca Giulietta Nourishing Body Scrub: The fine grain of this exfoliator was gentle and left my skin feeling exceptionally soft and smooth, but I wasn’t crazy about the scent. I expected to love the pink tulip/green apple combination, but it was overly floral. I’d be interested in trying the other scents.

Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner: A remnant from my summer beauty favorites, this is a decent conditioner that smells great and makes a wonderful shave cream.

Dior Diorshow Extase Mascara: From the gold tube to the thick, dark lashes it leaves in its wake, everything about this mascara is glam. It doesn’t flake off but it will rub off it you forget you’re wearing it. One of my favorite mascaras.

Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer in Aloe Soothe: I wrote about this over the summer and I still love it. This is an excellent pick for anyone who is too lazy to take the time to put lotion on (I’m looking at you, Mom). The aloe version was great for summer, but it also comes in other varieties that would be perfect for cooler months!

Osmia Organics Lavender Shea Soap: This smooth bar of soap lasted months! It left my skin clean and never dry. My only complaint is that I wanted more lavender! The scent faded long before the soap was gone.

Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizing: This organic moisturizer had a light texture and was surprisingly moisturizing. When the weather started to turn cool and dry, I started layering this under a tinted moisturizer for an extra boost. I’d recommend it as a gentle, effective moisturizer.

EOS Hand Cream: I didn’t love the scent but this weird, flat little tube holds a really nice little lotion! I used it as an all over body cream while traveling and it worked perfectly. This would make a great stocking stuffer.

September 2015 Empties

I can’t believe we’re already more than a week into October! You’ll have to forgive me for being a bit behind with reviewing last month’s empties – between a road trip to visit some good friends in their new home, several nights out to celebrate various happy occasions with friends, and a jam-packed work schedule, I’ve had a very busy couple of weeks! Luckily, the long hours and short weekends have not kept me from testing and finishing up a whole bunch of things. Let’s take a look at September’s empties:
September 2015 empties
Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Refreshingly Clean Cleansing Cloths: These gentle daily cleansing cloths are formulated to remove makeup and oil without over-drying or irritating sensitive skin. They combine the natural toning properties of witch hazel with soothing aloe, a blend the package says gives the cloths their “signature botanical scent.” Here is what I have to say about these face wipes: they are very effective at removing makeup and oil, and when I used them they kept my skin quite clear and even. However, I found that signature scent to be almost stomach-turning. The scent was so strong and so unpleasant that it took me months to finish up this pack of 25 cleansing cloths. I would not recommend them to anyone who is the least bit sensitive to strong smells.

Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strips: As with Boscia’s classic black mask (and pretty much every other Boscia product I’ve tested), I was very excited to give this pore strip a try. As a person whose past experiences with drugstore pore strips have been quite painful and ineffective, I was cautiously optimistic that this one would work for me. Happily, it did! I decided to test this strip one afternoon after noticing that my pores looked unusually large and grimy. Not only did this strip remove the grime and make my pores instantly less prominent, I was actually able to peel the strip from my face without crying or taking any skin with it. This is definitely the Cadillac of pore strips.

Malin + Goetz Geranium Body Wash: I’ve sampled a couple of Malin + Goetz products over the years, and I’ve really liked all of them. This body wash was no different. Though I don’t typically love floral scents, this one was mild and left a pleasant fragrance on my skin that lasted through most of the day. It also made my skin insanely soft, even without lotion. I think this would make a great gift.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB: I’ve written about this so many times, there’s not much left to say! I finally used up my summer BB cream, and not a moment too soon; my tan has definitely abandoned me, making this beauty balm just a touch too dark for my complexion. Other than that, it’s an all-around great BB cream that provides moisture and nice light coverage for a super reasonable price.

Colgate MaxFresh with Whitening Flouride Toothpaste: A pretty basic toothpaste. I can’t say I noticed a difference in whiteness, but it did a great job of keeping my mouth feeling fresh.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple: This facial cleanser is an old favorite for good reason – it’s gentle, effective, and even smells pure and simple. I often turn to it when another product has caused irritation or the changing seasons has turned my skin into a red blotchy mess. It’s always a safe bet.

Benefit They’re Real! Remover: This waterproof eye makeup remover has a unique creamy gel formula that is designed to prevent pulling or tugging of the delicate skin around the eyes. I have to confess, I was completely caught off guard by the odd texture. It was goopy and unpleasant, and I got a ton of it in my eyes. This makeup remover is formulated to be safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, and I’ll admit that my highly sensitive eyes did not sting or burn after using it. Still, it felt gross. And with all the wonderfully effective eye makeup removers out there (like this one from MAKE), I don’t see a reason to use one that feels this bad.

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo: I wrote about this a little while back after receiving it in a Birchbox. It’s a nice, fresh-smelling dry shampoo that’s great for giving second day hair a little oomph. That oomph doesn’t last very long, but it’s really clean and natural looking while it lasts. A great product to throw in your purse for on-the-go touchups.

August 2015 Empties

Happy Labor Day beauties! The end of summer is painfully close, but today is a beautiful day and I intend to spend it soaking up some delicious late summer rays. Before we say hello to fall, let’s celebrate the holiday with a look back at some of the products that helped me through this season:
August 2015 Empties
Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water: I wrote about this new skincare favorite here. I still love it. A perfect summer cleanser.

Gillette Fusion Hydra Gel: This technically belonged to my husband, but I’m pretty sure I used more of this shave gel than he did. With aloe and cocoa butter, it left my skin super soft and allowed for a really close shave.

R & Co Atlantis Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner: I took this little duo on a road trip to a beach wedding on a hot summer day. It left my hair feeling clean, smelling fresh, and miraculously free of frizz. I was very impressed.

Suave Tropical Coconut Shampoo: I seem to return to this cheapo shampoo every summer. The light coconut scent is just what I’m looking for in the warmer months, and it’s great cleanser.

Dove Go Fresh Cool Moisture Body Bar: I wrote about this last month, too. Still a fine choice for a summer soap. In other news, I’ve finally used up my soap stash! Hooray!

Whish Three Whishes Almond Body Butter: This thick body lotion left my skin feeling soft, but I don’t think it’s moisturizing enough for the cooler, dryer months. The almond scent was a bit too strong at first but became much more pleasant as the day wore on. It makes a really nice hand cream.

Benefit Bad Gal Lash: When this mascara was first released, I tried it, loved it, and then promptly swore it off because it burned my eyes in the most painful way. Years later, I received this mini and decided to give it another go. I’m so glad that I did! Benefit must have tweaked their formula; it didn’t bother my eyes at all! It did make my lashes look full and gorgeous, though. Bad Gal Lash for the win!

Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Water: Another waterless cleanser, this product claims to remove makeup and impurities while toning and brightening skin. While I don’t think it worked as well as the Caudalie cleanser, it did help remove makeup and keep oil in check.

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil: If you’ve ever used products from this brand, you’ve probably noticed the sugary sweet scent they usually have. I’m happy to report that this hair oil had a very mild, hardly noticeable scent. It also kept frizz at bay and protected my hair from being fried this summer, without any greasiness. A great summer hair product.

July 2015 Empties

July was filled with lots of fresh-smelling summer beauty products. I used up a lot of drugstore staples and found a couple of new favorites. Here’s what I finished last month:
July 2015 Empties
Not Your Mother’s Deja Vu ‘Do Style Extender: Thanks to Influenster, I received this little tube in a VoxBox. I already wrote about it here, but to recap: it smells magnificent and adds nice, lightweight volume, but I can’t say that it extended my style any.

Dove Go Fresh Cool Moisture Beauty Bar with Cucumber and Green Tea Scent: Believe it or not, I am still using up bars of soap that were in my stash when I started my beauty ban back in January 2014. This is one of them. It’s a decent cleanser, featuring the classic Dove hydrating lotion, and the cucumber/green tea scent feels fresh on a hot summer day.

Colgate MaxClean SmartFoam Toothpaste: I really like the way this toothpaste foams up and leaves my mouth feeling extra clean. It claims to be a whitening toothpaste, but I wish it was more effective in that regard. Although, to be fair, I do drink a lot of coffee.

Suave Naturals Juicy Green Apple Shampoo: I can’t say enough good things about this shampoo, which cost me 97 cents. It smells amazingly good – a lot like old school Herbal Essences shampoo – and it left my hair and scalp clean and moisturized. I will definitely buy this again. A summer favorite for sure.

Rite Aid Renewal Aloe Vera Body Lotion: I purchased this after I got way too much sun early in the summer. As far as aloe is concerned, I don’t think it has much, because it didn’t do much to soothe my burned skin. As a daily body lotion, however, it’s a great summer pick. It’s lightly moisturizing, non-greasy, and has a mild, clean scent.

Dove Go Fresh Cool Essentials Cucumber & Green Tea Scent Anti-Perspirant Deodorant: Apparently I was drawn to cucumber and green tea last month! Again, it has a fresh, clean scent that really works this time of year. However, I wasn’t wowed by it as an anti-perspirant. I didn’t feel like it really lasted all day, particularly on warmer or more active days. I don’t know that I’d repurchase this.

Supergoop Everyday Face & Body Lotion and Everyday Sunscreen: I received the tube of SPF 50 sunscreen in a Birchbox and fell in love with it, which prompted me to dig out the packet of SPF 30 lotion for a subsequent beach day. They are both fabulous. This sunscreen is very effective and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy on the skin. It lasts through hours of sweating and swimming, and didn’t make me break out. It’s pricey, but totally worth it.

June 2015 Empties

Can you believe we’re halfway through the year? I hope you are all busy living up these glorious summer days. Last month I used up a truly pitiful number of products – just three! – but they were all great and are definitely worth adding to your summer routine. Let’s check them out:

   

  

Bath & Body Works Apple Blossom & Lavender Shea Butter Milled Soap: Not only is this the freshest, best-smelling soap I’ve encountered in ages, this bar left my skin both clean and moisturized. Last I checked Bath & Body Works was no longer offering this scent or this soap, but I would suggest that you look for it in stores during any of their epic sales – they often feature discontinued items. 

Macadamia Professional Nourishing Moisture Masque: I have to admit, I was underwhelmed the first time I tried this hair masque. My frugal self only used a small amount of the conditioning treatment, and I didn’t really see any reason to keep using it. The next time around I slathered a whole handful through my locks, and wouldn’t you know, I was rewarded with smooth, shiny hair. It takes a bit more product than I’d expect, but this masque is the real deal. 

Nivea A Kiss Of Moisture Essential Lip Care: I turned to this untinted, unscented balm a couple months back after another lip product caused breakouts and dry spots. This super smooth clear balm was soothing, plumped up my pout and didn’t do any damage, which seemed miraculous at the time. This balm is perfect day or night, and makes a great base for lipstick. I definitely recommend it as a basic balm.