Empties Roundup: February 2017

Hey reader! Welcome to the Empties Roundup for February 2017! Somehow, the shortest month of the year has been the most epic month for empties. Keep reading to see what I used up!

Toni & Guy Matt Texture Dry Shampoo

This is my second Toni & Guy dry shampoo, but I think I preferred the Cleanse dry-sham to the Matt Texture. Either way, I’m still scoping out a replacement; I tried the brunette Bumble and bumble dry-sham when I was at Sephora last, and I might give that one a go.

Curology Protective Lip Balm SPF 30

This was a leftover from when I was a Curology subscriber. The balm was really smooth and creamy and lasted a pretty long time, even overnight if I applied it just before bed. I forgot to photograph the inside of the tube to show its emptiness, but believe me, I dug out every last bit of it. I replaced it with Sun Bum’s banana lip balm. It’s not as good, even if it does smell like banana Laffy Taffy.

NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray

This stuff wasn’t bad, I guess. I didn’t notice any added makeup longevity when I used it, but it didn’t make things worse, so there’s that. I did buy a bottle of Urban Decay’s All Nighter to replace it, but I’m not entirely convinced I need a setting spray at all. Maybe in the summer.

Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum

I’m a little sad to see this stuff go. It was a pretty gentle serum and I did see some softening of fine lines and a brighter complexion when I used it regularly. For now though, I want to try some other retinol serums and see if this is one I’ll come back to; I really want to try one from The Ordinary.

CeraVe PM Moisturizing Lotion

I feel like I had this thing forever. I probably will buy this again, but not for a while yet, since I’ve got so many other ones I want to work through first. Currently I’m working with Skinfood’s Cucumber and Lettuce Watery Emulsion, Shiseido’s Benefiance Nutriperfect Night Cream, and Valentia’s Pure Glow lotion. I think the latter breaks me out, but I’m trying it again to make sure it wasn’t hormonally-related.

Boots Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum

I liked this stuff, too. My Target recently stopped selling Boots Botanics — Soap and Glory is in its old shelf space — so I don’t know if I’ll ever get another chance with this stuff, but I did enjoy it.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum

This particular bottle was from a GWP set, but I have a full-size bottle of it waiting for me after I finish up some other samples. I’m working on a sample bottle of Lancôme ‘s Advanced Genifique serum, and Philosophy’s When Hope is Not Enough after that.

LUSH Aqua Marina cleanser sample

Confession: this sample was like two years old. I got it when I was visiting Philadelphia. Should I have thrown it out? Absolutely. I didn’t notice any ill effects after using it up at least. I might consider a repurchase of this, or at least another sample. Clay cleansers are nice sometimes.

A’Pieu NonCo Tea Tree Spot Patches

I didn’t know what to expect from these, but I liked them. I wore them to bed whenever I noticed a pimple coming up, and in the morning, they’d be dried up. Amazing! I just wish they put more than twelve or so in the pack. Occasionally I had some fall off, but that happens.

TonyMoly Whitening Capsule Essence

I liked this. It was a clear gel that absorbed quickly and moisturized. I only had ten packets, so I probably didn’t see the intended results in the time I had with it, but I’d like to give a full-size product a shot.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap, Geranium

I know hand soaps aren’t beauty products in the traditional sense, but I’ve found it difficult to get a good hand soap that doesn’t irritate my hands. This is important, regardless of whether or not you’re a nail blogger. I’ll never buy another hand soap.

Proclaim Coconut and Macadamia Nut Oil Hand Lotion

This stuff was pretty nice, and the tube was only a dollar from Sally Beauty Supply. It was moisturizing and the effects lasted a good long time, but I did find myself reapplying pretty often.

Dream Polish Gem Glam scented top coat

I won this in a giveaway! Thanks again to Kristi from BeginNails, because I loved this stuff and I hope to purchase my own full-size bottle eventually. The scent was fantastic and long-lasting, even after dish washing. I know it doesn’t look empty, but I cannot get that last bit out, so I’m calling it.

Seche Base ridge-filling top coat

This I didn’t love so much. I bought it by accident; I totally thought it was clear, since it was in a box with a white background. It was pretty white, streaky, and often interfered with jellies and other sheer polishes. I liked Seche Clear so I’ll probably go back to that, but right now I’m using Dream Polish’s Smooth Gem, another giveaway win from Kristi!

L’Occitane en Provence Extra-Gentle Milk Soap

So I got this from a thrift store. It’s pretty lovely stuff. I swore my loyalty to Mrs. Meyer’s a few photos ago, but I kind of lied, because I’d totally buy this soap again. I did have another bar so I was able to replace it quickly, but I may have to pay retail for one when the time comes.

Noni Papaya Pineapple Body Wash

This is from a hotel in Hawaii! You’ll notice I didn’t cut it open; it’s clear and I can see there isn’t much left in it anyway. It was nice stuff, but I’ve got other hotel minis to work though, lots of which are also from Hawaii.

Lancôme Nutrix Royal Body Creme

Another GWP product! This stuff was perfect for winter skin; it was rich and thick and lovely. I’ll definitely keep it in mind for when winter rolls around next year.

NSPA by Nirvana Spa Exotically Cream Coconut Shower Scrub

This wasn’t half-bad. It’s not the kind of scrub I usually buy; I go for the oily sugar ones. This one was very well scented, foamed easily, and wasn’t too harsh or abrasive.

The Indigenous Soap Company Tea Tree Patchouli soap bar

This was some good soap and I’m a little sad it’s gone. The fragrance was strong and earthy and the bar had poppy seeds in it for gentle exfoliation. It was very nice. Even my boyfriend liked it, and he doesn’t like anything.


Who loves samples? I do! Here are some quick notes. The Skinfood apple mask was very hydrating. The Missha BB cream was too dark for me, but I liked the coverage. The Kate Somerville sensitive skin cream was amazing; I had a cold and lost the skin between my lip and nose for a while, and had to limit myself to products that wouldn’t irritate the raw skin. That one was gentle and didn’t burn at all. I loved it. The Julep Rock Star cream was actually an empty from last month that I forgot; it’s still a winner. The Koh Gen Do gommage gel was pretty nice; I’d never used a gommage gel and I was really impressed with the results. I’d like to try it again. The COSRX BHA liquid was amazing and I’m totally getting a full-size bottle. The Origins masks were also lovely; I bought a full-size of Drink Up Intensive the last time I was at Sephora.

Sheet Masks

My favorite of these was the Snail mask. It dried up some acne that was coming up, and that was really impressive. The Creme Shop mask was really wet and I was patting the essence in for like an hour after; I see this as a plus. The Skinfood mask felt really nice and I did see some brightness after I took it off. The Welcos Jeju mask didn’t leave me feeling oily in the morning like some masks do.

And finally, there you have it, the February 2017 empties roundup. If you’ve read this far down, thank you so much for reading all this. Did you finish up anything good? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know!

I bought these products myself.
Except for the one I won in a giveaway.
And except for the Valentia serum, that was previously a press sample.

Empties Roundup: January 2017

Hey reader! It’s the first Empties Roundup of the year! This was an exceptionally good month for used-up products, and I’m irrationally excited. Let’s take a look! I know you want to see all these cut-up tubes.

Carol’s Daughter Sacred Tiare Restoring Hair Mask

I loved this stuff. It was very rich and really did lovely things for my dry, damaged, all-over-the-place hair. The gardenia fragrance was very strong also, which was probably my favorite thing about it. I’ve replaced it with the It’s a 10 deep conditioner, which I don’t like quite as much.

Organix Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo

I’d heard good things about Organix’s keratin stuff, and I like their stuff in general, so I gave this a shot when I started straightening my hair. The plan was to just keep using my beachy wave shampoo until it was gone, but I’m glad I didn’t wait. My hair was a lot smoother after straightening with this shampoo compared to the beachy wave stuff. I might repurchase, but I also might move to that L’Oreal sulfate-free stuff everyone is talking about.

Formula 10.0.6 Best Face Forward Foaming Cleanser, mini size

I’d never heard of this brand before, but when I was vacation shopping last year, I found this in a travel set in Old Navy; it came with this cleanser, a small bottle of toner, some cleansing wipes, and a small tube of mud mask, all in a TSA-sized bag. I’d used most of this while I was travelling, and only recently pulled it out to finish it up. I liked it; it foamed, but didn’t make my face feel too dry after. I’d consider rebuying.

Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray

This marks the first time I’ve ever used up a press sample. I’m a little sad it didn’t last me until the summer, when I would like to use it for basic refreshment. In its last days, this spray served as a skincare refresher; I sprayed it on my skin when my skin felt dry, reviving my moisturizer a little. I may repurchase, but I’m also looking into other facial mists, so we’ll see.

Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Foam Cleanser, mini size

This was another one that was in my travel bag that I just needed to finish up; in this case, the cap broke and the product was going to dry out if I didn’t. I like these really dense and foamy cleansers, but this one felt harsh and stripped my skin. No thanks.

LaRoche-Posay Anthelios 60, sample size

I was about to throw this away because I’d had it for a while and thought it was expired. When I saw it expired in February, I knew I had to use it up. I’m actually really impressed by it. I have bad sunscreen habits because every sunscreen I’ve used before now is a white, goopy mess, but this one was different. This one was light, had a pleasant smell, and absorbed into my moisturizer very quickly. I may purchase a full size.

GlamGlow ThirstyCleanse Daily Hydrating Cleanser, mini size

I got this in an ipsy bag, and I kept it in my travel bag until I ran out of cleanser in the shower and had to dig it out. I’ve heard so many mixed reviews of GlamGlow products that I didn’t have high expectations for this, but it wasn’t too bad. My skin felt clean but not dry after, which I liked. The tube, though, says it foams, which I did not find to be the case. I wouldn’t mind another one of these tubes, but I don’t know if I’ll actually buy one.

Sheet Masks: Utena Puresa CoQ10 Mask and The Creme Shop Drink Up Skin Hyaluronic Acid Mask

So it’s not a secret that I went on a huge sheet mask binge recently. It’s time to use some up! The CoQ10 mask was one I already had, and the penguin mask is new. Before I would just rotate all the different masks I had so I used a different one every week, but now I’m trying to listen to my face and give it what it wants. Also, I found out what I look like as a cartoon penguin. Verdict: frightening.

Skinfood Pore Control Fresh Apple Essence

These are from my Roseroseshop haul. Even though they’re packets, I’m reviewing them as a single entity. I liked this stuff; it had a nice scent and made my skin feel moisturized and balanced after application. I feel like it did help with my skin’s oil production a bit, since I notice a lot more oil since I’ve run out. I think I will purchase this in a full size in the future, but not this time; I’ve replaced it with the 3W Clinic’s placenta essence.

Miscellaneous Packets

More stuff from the haul! I only have quick notes about these. The Origins Drink Up Intensive mask was really nice to use; you have the choice of washing it off or wearing it overnight, and I chose the latter. It was still moist and sticky when I woke up, though I had some trouble sleeping with it on; I was afraid to roll over and soil my pillowcase with it. The Skinfood watermelon mask pack was awesome; it was strongly scented of watermelon, and made my skin feel soothed and refreshed. The Skinfood aloe sunscreen was also very nice; it was a lightweight sunscreen like the LaRoche-Posay. I’ve only used this packet, but I look forward to trying the others.

Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Hand Cream

This was good stuff. It was a lightweight lotion that absorbed quickly into skin and had a very nice fragrance. I don’t feel like it lasted very long though, because I was constantly reapplying. I replaced with Proclaim’s Coconut and Macadamia Oil hand lotion, though this is almost gone as well.

Trader Jacques Savon de France, Oatmeal Exfoliant Ginger Almond

So Trader Joe’s is still a bit of a novelty here; there’s one store across town. Boyfriend bought this for me on one of his solo trips there. It was a pretty nice soap actually. It was creamy, it foamed well, and lasted a pretty long time. It contained big pieces of oatmeal, which probably isn’t effective as an exfoliant, but I liked it anyway. I’ve replaced it with a tea tree patchouli soap I bought in Hawaii.

SheaMoisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Energizing Hand & Body Scrub

You know I love these scrubs. This was pretty typical of the SheaMoisture sugar scrub; it’s abrasive (but feels good) and leaves an oily sheen on my skin. I will always repurchase these.

JĀSÖN Gentle Basics Day Lotion

I bought this because it was on sale at Target. The lotion consistency was on the thin side and took a longer time than usual to work into the skin, but I did feel moisturized throughout the day. I’m not sure I’ll repurchase this, but it wasn’t bad.

NSpa by Nirvana Spa Exotically Creamy Coconut Body Mist

I have compeletely gotten out of the habit of using body spray. I used to be an addict like ten years ago, but I’d always forget about it and it was the last thing I used up in a Bath & Body Works buy — the lotion and shower gel would be gone long before — so I stopped buying it. I got this in a set as a gift; the shower gel is in my shower now, and the spray, when I remembered to use it, didn’t last as long as I thought it would.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Anara Spa Cocomango Massage Bar

This is the nicest hotel soap I’ve ever used. It had some dried leaves in it that exfoliated, and had those round nubbies on one side that feel really good when you wash with the bar itself. Those wore down pretty quickly, but the soap quality was very good, the scent was strong, and my only regret is that the hotel did not have more I could have stolen.

That’s the roundup for January! Be sure to tell me in the comments what you used up and if you’ve tried any of the products I emptied out. This was a good month for me and empties, I think next month will be good too!

I bought these products myself, except for the ones that were free samples.
And except the Evian facial spray. That was sent for a review unrelated to this post.
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Skincare Haul: TJ Maxx

I hear you already, reader. Another haul? Yeah, I’m a full-blown skincare addict now. Someone told me they sold a lot of Asian skincare stuff there, so I went to have a look. I was actually really impressed with their selection; I found a lot of high-end stuff as well. Also, for the first time, I did not even look at nail polish. I have traded one addiction for another. I’m scared for my wallet.

The best deals I got were easily the high-end products. I didn’t really even want some of this stuff, but the discounts were so steep I couldn’t pass it up, like this Estée Lauder serum; I have a sample of this I haven’t even used yet, but check out that price tag. 29 dollars for a product that retails for $95? Of course I bought it. I bought the Shiseido stuff out of curiosity, but I do plan to use it eventually. I did open the night cream and I’ve used it a few times — it’s so rich and makes my skin feel amazing. I know it’s a skincare no-no to start using many new products at once, but I couldn’t help myself. Also, I’m afraid that I’ll like these products, I’ll begin to depend on them, and then I won’t be able to find it at a discount again and I’ll end up paying $95 for another jar of this cream. Luxuries become necessities eventually, after all.

The sheet mask getting was good. I’m stoked about the Jeju Natural masks, since I actually bought a bunch of individual ones in my second Roseroseshop order. I was so happy to see them at TJ Maxx that I bought both boxes. I don’t know much about the Celkin and Kwailnara masks, but the value was good, so I grabbed them. I think I’ve heard about The Creme Shop in passing, like that they’re fake-Korean, but I’m not bothered by that. I’m looking forward to finding out what I look like as a cartoon penguin.

I had no idea SheaMoisture had professional products, and that kind of excites me. I found this in the foodie section — likely because the box says “cocktail” — and couldn’t pass it up. I love the idea of mixing my own product, like I’m a hair scientist. This has to be fun.

Some things got left out. I found a Too Faced face palette and some of their Melted lipsticks; the lipsticks were six dollars each, and the palette was ten. They didn’t make it into the photos because I’d already put them in the vanity drawers.

I’m pleased with this haul. I spent more than I wanted to, but considering what I saved on the high-end stuff, it’s like I bought those retail and got sixty sheet masks for free.

I bought these products myself. I was not paid to mention TJ Maxx in this post.