Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Empties Post Volume XIX: March 2014 Edition

I would say that I did a pretty good job using up nearly finished products, and managed to get through quite a few samples as well. Despite the fact that I was testing new products, I still managed to make a dent in enough products to feel pretty satisfied by the accomplishment. I did a bit of traveling-- which made getting through sample packets fairly easy. Spring cleaning, for me, definitely involves finishing up partially used products that have been languishing in my cabinets and drawers. I get such a great sense of satisfaction when I put all of these empty bottles in the recycle bin, and gain a little breathing room in the bathroom cabinets and drawers.

Here are the full sized products and deluxe samples that I finished (hyperlinked product names lead to my in-depth reviews):

Crest 3D Whitestrips Classic Vivid: I have fairly sensitive teeth, and while preferable the super strength strips make them hurt. These seemed to do the trick, albeit a bit more slowly and gently-- but my teeth didn't hurt. They did a good job removing coffee and tea stains, but I think that I will do another cycle soon.

Perlier Volcanic Thermal Spa Scrub: I love this scrub because it effectively removes dead skin and reveals the softest silkiest skin imaginable. It also leaves no oil slick on the bottom of my shower-- so it cleans me without leaving me to scrub the shower floor.

Perlier Imperial Honey Body Butter: This is a thick and super rich body butter that leaves skin scrumptiously silky, soft and moisturized. 

Kai Body Glow Spray: Yes, I still love Kai! Kai Body Glow leaves skin soft and moisturized with a lovely glimmering sheen! It does, however, contain silicones-- so if you don't like silicone in your skincare products then you might want to pass on this oil and choose their luscious body butter instead.

Trader Joe's Moisturizing Cream Shave in Honey Mango: We love this stuff in my household, and I usually buy 3-4 at a time. They are often sold out at my local TJ's-- so me thinks that many other Angelino's love it too! It's gentle and moisturizing, and very affordable!

Lorenzo Villoresi Firenze Shower Gel Relaxing: A hand-me-down from my sister in her pre-move purge. I really liked it a lot. It smelled great.

Lorenzo Villoresi Firenze Shower Shampoo Refreshing: Also from my sister. Very nice, and it smelled wonderful.

Clarins Gently Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed: While I love many Clarins products, I found that this particular cleanser left my skin too squeaky-clean for my taste. It didn't dry out my skin or leave it parched, it just felt a tad stripped. 

Shannon's Soaps Tropical Coconut Sugar Scrub: This delectable scrub smells so good that one might be tempted to eat it (don't). It not only leaves skin unbelievably smooth, but it also is intensely moisturizing!

Shannon's Soaps Cocoa Butter Love: If you love the smell of cocoa butter and love rich body creams, then welcome to cocoa butter nirvana! This is one of my very favorite rich creams to use! I have another in my stash that I am just about to open!

Sponge Krema Imeras Day Cream: How I wish that Barneys New York still carried Sponge Skincare! Krema Imeras is a fantastic anti-aging day cream! I loved it from the first to the last pump! When I am in need of another day cream I will reorder this one from Dermstore now.

Bare Love Beauty Luxury Hair Fuel: This is a wonderful firm oil that leaves hair looking and feeling gorgeous! It does wonders for my curly hair, and it is super concentrated-- so only a tiny bit is needed to do the trick. The end result is smooth gloss hair!
While I got through a good many samples, I am only commenting on those of them that I either found particularly noteworthy, own a full size version of, or have used long enough to have formed a meaningful opinion. Single sample packets and small samples generally don't give me nearly enough time with a product to decide whether or not it might work for me. However, multiple samples of a product can help me determine whether or not I am willing to buy the product. The two noteworthy samples that led to the purchase of the full size products are the Aesop Damascan Rose Facial Treatment and the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength, and I am hopelessly in love with both.

Aroma M Camellia Hair Oil: I am crazy in love with this hair oil-- Maria has yet again created a masterpiece. Once I get through a few of my hair oils, I will be purchasing a full sized bottle of this amazingly effective and delectable smelling oil!

African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil: Where to start?! I'm madly in love with this luxury face oil, and covet my full size bottle. This is a miraculous product, and I plan on using it as long as Julia and Craig make it! It really is that good! African Botanics is one of those rare lines that makes one extraordinary product after another, and it is one of my all-time favorite lines! I truly, madly and deeply love everything that I have tried so far, and won't be happy until I have tried everything that they make!

REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask: This is a super effective at-home peel that works wonders on the skin. I find that it effortlessly and quickly leaves my skin soft, smooth and with a pronounced clarity! Somehow I still have a pile of samples-- so it will be quite some time before I need to buy a full size bottle.

TATCHA Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder: I love this enzyme powder, and have a full-size jar that I use very often. It is effortless to use and gives consistently excellent results. I still can't believe how soft and smooth my skin is after use!

Koh Gen Do Spa Water Cloths: I have yet to find a product to beat KGD Spa Water (cloth or liquid form). It removes everything and leaves the skin feeling clean and balanced. I have a bottle and a full pack of the cloths in my current rotation.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength: I'm surprised that I only used a single packet this month, but this is no reflection on my love of this product! This is a fabulously effective at-home maintenance peel program. It will take me a while to get through my big box, but I will definitely continue using this product.

Aesop Damascan Rose Facial Treatment: It only took me a couple of sample packs of this gorgeous face oil to know that I had to have it! I will post a full review after I have used it a bit longer, but I really love it. While it is supposed to be for drier skin, I have found that it does an exemplary job on my combination skin!

What did you finish, toss, give away or return in March? Any great finds? Any huge disappointments? Do tell!
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  1. I wish Canada had Trader Joe's. I haven't had many empties this month:

    -Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's Midnight Mass perfume
    -Shu Uemura Matte Colorless Face Powder
    -Etherealle Cosmetics Bakery blush sample
    -Avon Rare Diamonds deodorant
    -Lush Rose Jam shower gel

    1. Hi Iris,

      I wish that you had Trader Joe's in Canada as well! I imagine that it would do very well there!
      You did a great job on your empties this month, in my opinion. You always impress me with your ability to finish makeup-- and getting through your Shu powder is a very impressive feat! Have a lovely day :-)

  2. i'm within a couple of pumps of finishing sunday riley's good genes. it was ok but i don't love it enough to repurchase. i totally fell in love and also converted my cousin to eve lom's cleanser! it's the perfect all in one makeup remover/cleanser and rinses off cleanly even in cold water. i love how travel friendly it is too since i don't have to worry about spills or hauling around multiple products and cotton balls. my KGD spa water has been sadly neglected since its discovery. it's sensitive eye friendly and i've noticed a small improvement in skin texture (smoother) in the month that i've been using it. i also started a pack of karuna luxe's skin restoring treatment mask. while i somewhat dislike the smell, it did seem to hydrate very well. my skin felt very plumped and hydrated after and the feeling of plumpness lasted a couple of days.

    1. Hi Chia-Yi, It's funny, my last bottle of good genes didn't seem to do that much for my skin either. I wonder if it's just because I am using other products that seem to exfoliate my skin more effectively. I have a sample or two of the Eve Lom Cleanser, and now that you are expressing such love for it I will pull mine out and try it. I can't believe that you have been neglecting the KGD water-- the Eve Lom cleanser must be truly extraordinary to cause you not to reach for the KGD!! The fact that it is sensitive eye friendly is even better since that is an issue for me as well! The effects of the karuna Luxe mask almost seems worth dealing with a smell that doesn't please you! I will have to check that out as well! You had a good month of discoveries!!!!!!!!!

    2. it's my bulletproof topcoat for my mascara that makes things difficult. with spa water, i have to hold the soaked cottonball and wait for 15secs then rub gently back and forth for a while. i try to be gentle as possible but i still worry that i'm gonna give myself premature wrinkles. the eve lom has more slip since it's balm based and i really enjoy the ritual of a quick steaming with the muslin cloth to open my pores. i don't usually bother with the 7 step facial massage that's also part of the instructions tho. it's extremely sensitive eye friendly. i've slathered this on and gotten distracted and walked away from the wash basin with it all over my lashes and eye area and it never bothers me. it doesn't give that gross slimy eye discharge from the inner corner of eye that some oil cleansing will give you too. the only minor thing i can complain about is that it didn't give my skin an extra boost in moisturizing that the sales girl touted but i'll take rinsing off cleanly and easily over extra boost in moisturization any day! i agree that the mask benefits seems to outweigh the mildly unpleasant smell. i'll give you update when my box of 4 becomes an empty :D

    3. That makes perfect sense-- there's really no way for the KGD Spa Water to tackle a bulletproof topcoat for mascara!

      WOW, I can't believe that getting it into your eyes presented no problem whatsoever. I love the ritual that you described as well-- this sounds amazing. I will definitely go digging in my samples drawer to find it and give it a try! Bummer that you didn't get the extra boost in moisture that you had been led to believe you would experience, but I would certainly trade that for something that didn't irritate my eyes. Keep me updated! :D

    4. well i've never actually gotten it into my eyes. because of the oily balm consistency, it goes to exactly where you push it to and stays put until you rinse it off. hopefully you love it as much as i do! update me either way! to be fair to KGD, it did outperform some of the bi-phase makeup removers i did try

    5. That makes it so much better for those of use who do have sensitive eyes!!!!! Thank you for your excellent description! I agree that KGD is a great performer, but their are limitation to this type of product if you are really trying to remove super resistant waterproof (bulletproof) makeup! Have a lovely weekend! :D

  3. This is super impressive! I'm in love with the Ren mask... it has to be my favorite! xo kelly http://msdioraddict.blogspot.com/

    1. Thanks, Kelly! Isn't that REN peel mask amazing?!!! I absolutely love that stuff! :-)

  4. OMG!!! You have lots lots lots of products here!!! I am so confused for I want to try them one by one. I guess I have to think on what to try first.

    1. Hi Sue, I definitely managed to get through a lot of products in March! There are definitely some great products in this pile that are worthy of repurchase!


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