Thursday, September 29, 2016

Empties Post Volume XLVII: September 2016

Press Sample, Purchased, GWP (Affiliate Links)

I managed to finish up an unbelievable number of products in September, and I was able to achieve this because I tend to like to purge things each fall. This season always marks the beginning of the new academic year, and there is something about new beginnings that always inspires me to clear out clutter, and streamline my life. My intensive work schedule forces me to be quite organized, and therefore, I wanted to begin, in earnest, to declutter my large collection of skincare and makeup. I began rounding up products that are well-used in order to finish them up, and started the task of either using or purging things that are coming to the end of their shelf-life.

Here are the full-sized products that I used up:

Lifetherapy Mood Enhancing Hand & Body Wash in Escape (Reviewed HERE): This non-stripping hand and body wash leaves skin moisturized, soft, and supple. The fragrance fills the shower and thankfully lingers in the air for a while so that the enjoyment doesn't end when you finish showering. This also works beautifully for shaving legs and underarms!

RITUALS T'ai Chi White Lotus & Green Tea Foaming Shower Gel Sensation (Reviewed HERE): The unique gel to foam technology not only makes it immensely fun to use, but it exceeds my every expectation of what a body cleansing gel should do. It cleans beautifully, smells glorious, and leaves the skin lusciously hydrated and soft. Furthermore, the rich dense foamy texture lends itself to being one seriously amazing shaving cream that cleanses, softens, and gives a seriously close shave. My legs have been transformed into the most soft and silky skin imaginable, and this gorgeous product has quickly given the boot to all of my other shaving creams! The combination of Green Tea and White Lotus makes this one of the most delectable scents imaginable. It is fresh, clean and utterly delightful! I already have another one in my shower!

Sun Bum SPF 15 Original Spray Sunscreen (Reviewed HERE): I generally use a high SPF sunscreen, but I do sometimes use a lower SPF when I have limited exposure to the outdoors. Sun Bum's spray sunscreens dry sheer and aren't in the least bit sticky or uncomfortable on the skin. This antioxidant enriched formula helps protect the skin against free radicals, and it is so easy to use. When I spend the day outside, I definitely choose their SPF 30 Spray Sunscreen instead., but in either case I reapply frequently. I have lots of Sun Bum sunscreens, and will deftly continue to use them!

Dr. Canuso Foot Serum (Reviewed HERE): While I neither have dry, cracked heels, nor a foot fungus, I can say that this foot serum has made my feet unbelievably soft and smooth. It is lightweight, and very fast absorbing, and will not stain your sheets. I would definitely use this again!

According to Dr. Canuso,

Dry, Cracked Heels This patent pending product treats the cause of dry skin and cracked heels. See and feel results in as little as 2 days with this ultra light serum that dries instantly and leaves your feet as smooth as silk.

MANUKA SECRETS Serum (Reviewed HERE): This antioxidant-rich facial serum is loaded with nourishing oils and Manuka Honey without any unwanted filler ingredients. Like most serums, it is very lightweight in texture and fast absorbing, and therefore it provides deep hydration instantaneously. Skin is left soft, supple and luminous, and over time, it works to even skin tone. I have already opened another bottle, and my husband loves using this as well!

Cleopatra's Choice 100% Pure Argan Oil (Reviewed HERE): One of the things that I particularly like about this Argan oil is the fact that it doesn't have an overpowering or pungent smell- which can be a deal breaker when applying it to the face or hair- where one would remain more aware of a lingering scent.  I have lots of other Argan Oils right now, but would definitely use this brand again. 

Nth Degree True Repair Hair Mask (Reviewed HERE): If you love hair masks that deeply condition and nourish the hair, then you really must give this one a try. I was so surprised by the extent to which this gem of a deep conditioner left my hair soft, smooth, hydrated, manageable and shiny. This may not seem like a tremendous feat, but when you have dry, naturally curly that is periodically color-treated, then you know that this is no small accomplishment! I would definitely use this again.

Hydroxatone AM/PM Anti-Wrinkle Complex SPF 15 (Reviewed HERE): This is a very moisturizing and emollient cream that glides on the skin with ease and absorbs quickly. The consistency is rather thick and rich in feel yet it feels light and creamy on the skin. I was concerned that it might be too rich for my combination skin, and worse yet I feared that it would cause me to break out, but thankfully neither turned out to be the case. Instead, what I noticed was that it immediately hydrated my skin, softened the appearance of fine lines, and gave my skin an overall smooth texture. That said, this cream may be a touch too rich and emollient for people with very oily skin, but should provide adequate moisture for people with dry skin. I find that a little bit of product goes a very long way therefore one jar should last a while. I would definitely use this again, but it will be quite a while before I need to buy another face cream!

Clarisonic Brush (Reviewed HERE): While my Clarisonic doesn't get as much love as my FOREO LUNA, I do still love and use it. This replacement head finally wore out and had to be tossed out. I have already put a fresh brush on my Clarisonic.

Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C Beauty Drops ($23.99 for a 28 day supply from Ulta and Dermstore. Reviewed HERE): This is one of my favorite products from Lumene because I almost immediately noticed a brightening and illuminating of my skin. Each jar contains a 28 day supply of capsules filled with a potent little potion. You simply remove the tip of the capsule and squeeze the contents into your hand, and then massage the serum into your face, neck and décolleté. It is applied like a serum, before your day or night cream, and it sinks in quickly and effortlessly. It brightens, hydrates, softens and smooths skin, and it imparts a natural glowing radiance. I have already opened another jar! 

Nail Butter in Lemongrass (Reviewed HERE): This is a beautifully rich and emollient butter that is creamy dreamy to apply and ultra-moisturizing, and the Lemongrass scent is so intoxicatingly beautiful that I simply can't get enough of it. The scent alone has transformed my once humdrum experience of massaging cream into my cuticles to one that is extraordinarily satisfying. The scent is succulent and delicious, and it makes my nightly routine of nourishing my nails and cuticles one that is highly anticipated rather than mostly forgotten about!  I definitely need to get another jar!

African Botanics Résurrection Eye Crème (Reviewed HERE): The texture of Résurrection Eye Crème resides somewhere between a healing balm and an eye cream thanks, in part, to the Shea Butter. However, the texture is silky smooth and ultra refined without any of the granular particles typically found in many Shea Butter based products. This glorious eye cream is healing, hydrating and restorative-- leaving the delicate eye area looking refreshed, hydrated, lifted and youthful. It is remarkably concentrated-- therefore the smallest amount delivers noteworthy results. A small spatula is provided in order to avoid contaminating the contents of the jar, but one needs only to scoop out the smallest amount for both eyes.

I warm a tiny amount of Résurrection Eye Crème between my ring fingers and then gently pat it into the delicate eye area, and apply any remaining cream to my lips. I noted an immediate difference in the texture and luminosity of my skin the very first time that I used it. My fine lines were plumped, the skin was lifted, and it boasted an unprecedented clarity and luminosity. On those days when I don't get enough sleep and wake up with dark circles, Résurrection Eye Crème works wonders on diminishing those unsightly reminders of fatigue-- not to mention that it makes short work of reducing puffiness.

This is one of the greatest eye creams that I have ever used, and I have already opened a new jar!
WEI Gingko Leaf Repairing Décolletage Treatment Pads: This deeply moisturized my skin, and left my décolletage soft, smooth and supple. Pretty cool, actually! I would definitely use this one again!

Sally's Box Delight Collagen Mask: I am a huge fan of sheet masks, and this one deeply moisturized my skin, and left it lifted and smoothed! I would definitely use this again!

Bodipure Keratin Gloves: I usually only use hand and cuticle creams, butters and oils, but I really liked the efficacy of using gloves. These definitely left my hands and cuticles soft and deeply moisturized!

Mask Aid All Eyes On Me: These eye masks brightened and moisturized my under-eye area. I liked them, and will decide whether to purchase them after I get though the rest of the pile of eye masks that I have.

Frownies Eye Gels (Review forthcoming): These were such an amazing surprise, and I can't express the extent to which I love them. The cooling gel pads feel absolutely AMAZING on the skin, and they lift, hydrate, nourish, soothe and smooth the skin. I will definitely replace them once I finish this box!

Global Beauty Care Green Tea Makeup Cleansing Wipes: I use lots and lots of makeup wipes, and they not only remove makeup from your face, but are also perfect for removing swatches. I already have a replacement because I liked these so much!

Global Beauty Care Makeup Cleansing Wipes nourish skin while removing face & eye makeup, even waterproof mascara. This formulation helps to condition and soothe skin- it leaves no greasy residue and is hypoallergenic.

Green Tea has traditionally been known to contain powerful antioxidants and moisturizers. We have formulated it into a soothing, skin-nourishing cleansing wipe. When used daily, it helps reduce the look of dryness, wrinkles and sagging. Apply the pre-moistened wipes to your face, neck, or anywhere you wish to support healthy skin tone, firmness and appearance.
I also managed to get through a sizable selection of samples and deluxe samples. I has so many that were partly used that I left them on my counter and my makeup bag to finish them up. The real standouts were:

Whish Body Butter: Whish makes such amazing skincare products, and their Body Butters leave the skin remarkably hydrated and soft and supple. Their fragrances are really lovely, and I would definitely use them again.

Acure Pore Minimizing Facial Scrub: I don't usually get enough use out of deluxe samples to form a real opinion, but that was not the case here. This is an amazing, gentle and effective face scrub that leaves skin velvety smooth and unbelievably soft. It is neither stripping, nor irritating, and it is such a pleasure to use. It is definitely on my list to buy!

TATCHA AGELESS Revitalizing Eye Cream (Review forthcoming): I am currently testing a full size jar, but I can tell you right now that this is one seriously incredible eye cream. It is an antioxidant rich, anti-aging cream that deeply moisturizes, brightens and lifts the delicate skin of the eye area! A+++

Kiehl's Arctic 'Rosa Arctica' Youth Regenerating Cream: This is an ultra-rich cream that is a perfect choice for people with dry skin. I love the smell, texture and efficacy, but it is too rich for my normal/combination skin. However, I used it on my neck and hands and fell in love with it! I have a few more jars that I am currently coveting!
Assorted sample packets from Janssen Cosmetics, Mini Organics, Adventuress, Mario Badescu, Colorado Aromatics and Rodan+Fields. Sample packets never provide enough product to really form a deep impression about the efficacy of the products, but I do often take them when I am traveling because they are TSA compliant, take up no space, and can be finished and tossed.
I have been starting the arduous task of sorting through some of my makeup. I have been making an effort to finish up things that are nearly empty and tossing out things that are clearly too old to use. The highlights here are: Sukicolor Tinted Active Moisturizer, a custom mixed foundation that I created, Bobbi Brown Blush Stick (that was very old), La Prairie Cellular Treatment Eye Colour (I loved this silky-smooth formula so much!,)  lipstick (unknown brand- the label fell off), W3LL PEOPLE makeup samples, Susan Thompson Cosmetics Mim's The Word Liquid Blush Sample (This remains one of my very favorite blushes! Reviewed HERE), Trish McEvoy Powder Bronzer  Refill (Trish McEvoy products are always hit and miss with me, but I really liked this powder broker a lot. It literally took years to finish it!), Kanebo Sensei Total Lip Treatment (have used up a few of these lip treatments, and can't say enough good things about it! It is more like a cream than a balm, and it deeply nourishes lips), Painted Earth Natural Lip Balm (I LOVE this anti-aging lip balm. It nourishes lips while leaving them remarkably soft and smooth! Reviewed HERE) and a sample vial of Krigler Sierra Vista 2142.

What did you use up, toss out, give away or return in September? Were there any notable duds, or winners that you want to share?

Press Sample, Purchased, GWP (Affiliate Links)
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  1. WOW! You have used up so many products! I love these kinds of posts because you can see which items are really loved!

    1. I am determined to clean out my stash, and to use up what I like and toss out things that are too old to use!

  2. Holy Moly! You finished up so, so much! Well done, especially on finishing up all that makeup.

    1. I definitely made a concerted effort to use up half-finished things! I have too much clutter, and need to get a handle on it!

  3. OMG, Helen, this empties post was amazing! You used up so many products I don't even know where to start! I also loved the Rituals Tai Chi Shower Foam but I still love the Cherry Blossom scented version just a bit more. I used that Hydroxatone moisturizer spf 15 a couple of years ago, and I wish it had a higher spf coz it's a great moisturizer for the cold winter here in MA. Your Frownies mini-review got my attention because I was sent their original Frownies for wrinkles and the stiff paper that they're made from was actually painful and eventually unusable for me. Wish I had tried these soft cool gels instead! I need to go back and re-read a few of the reviews for more product ideas!

    1. I did use up a lot this month! I am really trying to clear out the clutter, and all of the open and half used things have been placed where they can be seen and used. The Rituals shower gels are absolutely amazing, and I love them! The Cherry blossom is delectable! Yes, the Hydroxatone really should be offered in an SPF30 because it is such a great moisturizer! The Frownies Eye Gels are fantastic!! They are nothing like their original Frownies. I have those and they really irritated my skin. They are stiff and felt really uncomfortable on my skin and pulled at it and made it red and irritated. I know that some people like them, but they definitely do not work on my skin at all!

  4. I think you blew everyone out of the water on the amount of product you used up. This is amazing and it sounds like you found a lot of products to keep on your next buy list. Good job girl.

    1. Thank you, Marcia! I am highly motivated to declutter, and one of my greatest sources of clutter, unsurprisingly, is my makeup and skincare collection. I am going through what I have, and pulling out everything that needs to be finished, or tossed. With any luck, my next few empties posts will be filled with lots of finished up products! I am tired of having to wade through so much stuff!

  5. That is seriously impressive! I've been organizing and purging stuff throughout my whole house this month and it feels amazing. It's crazy how much stuff on person can accumulate.

    1. Thanks, Bailey! I am trying to purge lots of stuff throughout my house, garage and yard, but I still have a long way to go. There is something unbelievably cathartic about purging the clutter. I am a minimalist at heart– so having too much stuff is stressful to me! I agree with you, it is truly crazy how much stuff a person can accumulate!

  6. Now that is A LOT, where do I even begin to comment, ahha :-) I love the Rituals shower foams. The one from the Karma line is probably my favorite one to date.

    1. LOL! Yes, I am really determined to use up half-used products and purge things that I don't like, or that are too old to use! I love the Rituals Shower foams as well! YES- the Karma line is a favorite of mine as well! <3

  7. I have a bad tendency to hoard travel sizes and packets to use for traveling. But I really have too, too many now and must start using them. I find it hard to reach for them instead of my beautiful favorite full sizes, though. Not to mention, my stash is not all in one place nor organized optimally. Going on a ten day trip this month and a 27 day trip at the end of the year. So maybe that will put a dent in them!

    1. It's easy to hoard them, but they are great for so much more than travel! I pop samples in my handbag, in my work bag and leave them visible in my bathroom so that I will try new things, and use portable versions of the things that I already love. I know what you mean, it is definitely more satisfying using the full -size products when you are at home though. The beautiful containers is part of the experience of enjoying the skincare ritual! It's hard to find a really effective way to store all of those little packets, bottles and jars! I tend to store them in little bags by brand, but I have an insane amount nonetheless!


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