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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March 2015 Empties

You know how sometimes you seem to run out of every single thing you need all at the same time? That definitely happened to me this month – in the midst of an already very empty-producing month, I ran out of deodorant, body lotion, moisturizer and shampoo, all on the same day! There’s lots to review this month, so let’s get right to it:
March 2015 Empties
Johnson’s Body Care Melt Away Stress Lavender & Chamomile Lotion: I found a tube of this old favorite in my stash of body lotions and decided to bring it to my office to use as a hand cream. It did a great job of keeping my hands and cuticles soft in the colder months, and that soothing lavender and chamomile scent really did help take the edge off on some of my more stressful days. My coworkers frequently commented on how nice it smelled, too. This lotion is lightweight but moisturizing, and scented but not overly perfume-y. I’m a big fan.

Secret Invisible Solid Antiperspirant/Deodorant in Powder Fresh: I was apparently feeling nostalgic the last time I went deodorant shopping because I bought this, the same deodorant I used during my middle and high school years. In middle school, it made me feel grown up. In high school, it made me feel feminine. Now? It left me feeling rather underwhelmed. It works fine as an antiperspirant/deodorant, but I didn’t think it smelled powdery at all. Instead, it had a scent that I’d call chemical cucumber. I wouldn’t purchase it again.

Roloxin Lift Revitalizing Facial Treatment: I received this mask in my last Birchbox. It’s supposed to act sort of like instant botox, smoothing wrinkles for 24 hours. Even though I (thankfully) don’t have many wrinkles, I gave it a try. I couldn’t see that it did much to improve the fine lines that I do have, though it did leave my skin feeling silky smooth.

Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Non-Greasy Lotion: I’ve written about this body lotion multiple times. I still have nothing but good things to say about it. It kept my skin flake-free and hydrated all winter long. This is one of my favorite new discoveries of the past year – a definite winner!

Boscia Recharging Night Moisture: This is a real quality moisturizer. Fragrance free and gentle enough to use when your skin is in the midst of a full-on rebellion, I returned to it again and again. It isn’t greasy and can be used as a daytime moisturizer, but it’s also deeply moisturizing and stood up to the cold, harsh winter air when most other moisturizers could not. I will likely be repurchasing this gem.

BeeKind Body Lotion: Made with honey and organic chamomile extracts, a portion of the proceeds of this bee-friendly lotion supports honey bee and sustainable pollination research. It had a mild scent and felt great going on, but I found that not long after applying the lotion, my skin felt dry again, like I hadn’t applied any lotion at all. It supports a great cause, but I need more moisture from a body lotion.

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner
: I don’t typically review shampoo and conditioner together, but I used these two samples together, and I loved them. The shampoo claims to make hair look fuller and thicker, seal split ends and smooth flyaways, while the conditioner boasts a featherweight texture that creates fuller looking hair. I have to say, this duo did all of the above. My hair felt like it looked good all day after using these products, and the mirror confirmed it – smooth, silky, bouncy hair. Great products.

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Colour Protecting Moisturising Shampoo: I wrote about the matching conditioner last month, and this shampoo wasn’t really any more appealing or effective than its counterpart. My hair looked and felt kind of dry after using it, and to make matters much worse, it caused my husband to break out in a rash around his hairline! Definitely proceed with caution if you have sensitive skin!

CoverGirl CG Smoothers BB Cream: Here’s another old favorite that’s been featured on this blog more than once. It’s my go-to winter BB because it’s both moisturizing and light enough for my pale, dry winter complexion. And with a drugstore price tag, it really can’t be beat!

Herbal Essences Tea-Lightfully Clean Refreshing Shampoo: This fresh-scented scalp clearing shampoo was another winter favorite – it soothed and de-flaked my scalp, smelled clean and fresh, and left my hair soft and clean. Another winner!

May 2014 Empties

Happy Memorial Day beauties! As May draws to a close I’m happy to report that I’m still successfully sticking to my shopping ban! I’ll admit, I’ve felt a little temptation, and I’m really missing my Birchbox subscription, but I’ve tried some great products, and I’m committed to continuing through the end of the year. Here’s what I used up this month:
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Softsoap Body Butter Strawberry Smoother: This thick and creamy body wash uses strawberry seeds to exfoliate and jojoba butter to moisturize all in one go. It did soften my skin considerably, allowing me to skip my normal post-shower lotion, but acne-prone girls beware – I found little blemishes occasionally popped up on my arms and legs while using this product.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment: Sad to see this one go! This whole line of lip balms, from this original version to the many tinted ones, is fantastic. A must have for smooth lips in one swipe.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara: This is hands down one of the best mascaras on the market today. It really does amp up lashes to a surprising degree. Use this if you want thicker, longer, darker, fuller lashes. You can even get away with skipping your eyelash curler if you’ve got this on!

Clinique High Impact Mascara: This is a perfect day-to-day mascara. It looks natural, with a touch of polish. It also won’t clump, flake, or hurt sensitive eyes.

Naked Princess Naked Shine in Barely Coco: I used up this tiny sample in a matter of days. If you’re looking for a new workday lip gloss, this is it. It’s light and smooth, and Barely Coco is a lovely pinky brown shade that looks natural but better. I will absolutely be buying this when my ban is up!

Covergirl CGSmoothers BB Cream: This is not the first time this has showed up in my empties list. Again, this is my favorite wintertime daily moisturizer, as it is a perfect match for my fair complexion and evens out imperfections in a flash.

Crest 3D White Flouride Anticavity Toothpaste in Radiant Mint: I’m always trying different whitening toothpastes, and I always seem to come back to this one. It has a nice flavor, it brightens my smile and it leaves my mouth feeling fresh.

Degree Motionsense in Shower Clean: Lately I’ve found it increasingly difficult to find a decent antiperspirant. This one is a wonderful exception. I am obsessed with the fresh scent, it keeps me clean and fresh all day, and it doesn’t rub off or stain my clothes. This one is definitely a winner.

Beauty Resolution 2014: The Shopping Ban

I know it seems a bit odd to write a resolutions post in February, but I honestly wanted to see if I could actually do it before I made a pledge to all of you. This year I have decided to try a shopping ban.

The Rules:

1. I cannot purchase any beauty or personal hygiene product, unless I have completely run out of that product. For example, I can’t buy a new bottle of shampoo until I have used up all other bottles, trial sizes and samples of shampoo currently in my home.

2. No beauty subscriptions.

3. Gifts or free items are allowed.

4. This ban is in place until December 31, 2014, or until I use up my entire beauty stash, whichever comes first.

I decided on a shopping ban after frantically searching my bathroom one morning for my favorite lipstick. I sorted through boxes, bags and baskets full of products and samples and could not find it. I did, however, discover several new products I didn’t even know I had! I realized I had backlogged Birchboxes and Ipsy bags that I’d never even opened. I was on beauty product overload.

So, a shopping ban it is. Not only will it help me use up my enormous stash and save a good deal of money, it will also help me discover new products that might otherwise sit in a drawer or basket indefinitely. At first I was afraid my willpower would crack, but a little over a month into it, I haven’t cheated and I’ve really enjoyed using up what I have. Below, a quick run down of what I’ve used up so far:
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Bath & Body Works Aruba Coconut Body Wash: A trusted standby, I find B&BW body washes to lather well without being overly perfumed, unlike some of their lotions. I’m a sucker for anything coconut scented, too.

Malin & Goetz Gentle Neroli Shampoo: I used up a couple sample packets of this delightful shampoo, and instantly added it to my post-ban must-buy list. It has a slightly spicy scent, and did a fantastic job of cleansing my hair. Plus, it left my scalp clean and moisturized, and my hair extra shiny.

Whish Deodorant Swipe: Deodorant wipes seem to be all the rage these days, but so far, I’m unimpressed. This one failed to keep my clean and dry after about four hours.
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CoverGirl CG Smoothers BB Cream: This is my go-to daytime moisturizer in the winter. It’s light enough for my fair skin and keeps my complexion nice and even. Thankfully my sister gave me another tube of it to replace the one I used up!

Dove Deodorant in Powder: A pretty basic deodorant, it had a very mild scent and did a decent job, most of the time. I wasn’t in love with it, and don’t think I’ll buy it again.

L’Occitane Hand Cream: I had a mini tube of this on my desk and used it up in a little over a week. Super moisturizing with a light, clean scent, this one is a classic for a reason.

Have you ever tried a shopping ban? Would you?