Sunday, April 30, 2017

Empties Post Volume LIV: April 2017

 Press Sample and Purchased (Affiliate Links)

I have said it many times before, but I must say it again: placing my mostly used products in the line of sight has been a tremendously effective way of making sure that I really do finish up of each of those products. By far my most effective trick has been loading my shower up with nearly finished products, and this is why each month I finish so many things. Here is what I finished up in April:

Haircare (Shown Above):

Fresh Monster Ocean Splash Kids Shampoo & Body Wash (Reviewed HERE. $7.99 for 8 oz. from Whole Foods, Target and Amazon): This kids shampoo and body wash smells delicious, was gentle and non-stripping, and left our skin super soft. While this may be intended for kids, it is good enough for the whole family to use.

Fresh Monster Kids Hair Detangler in Watermelon (Reviewed HERE. $7.99 for 8 oz. from Whole Foods, Target and Amazon): This is a wonderfully effective detangler, and its fun scent is neither too fragrant, nor does it smell like chemicals.

Key West Aloethera Moisturizing Shampoo (Reviewed HERE$21.00 for 16 oz. from Key West Aloe)): is a great choice if you seek a shampoo that is gentle enough for everyday use. The formula is gentle, non-stripping, and offers enough moisture without weighing hair down.

Key West Aloe Aloethera Keratin Conditioner (Reviewed HERE. $22.00 for 16 oz. and $16.00 for 8 oz. from Key West Aloe): is a fantastic choice if you need a conditioner that combats frizz, detangles, and moisturizes without weighing down your hair. It leaves my hair soft, silky and ultra manageable.

ColorProof SuperRich MoistureTreatment (Reviewed HERE): This is one of those products that I didn't know that I needed until I used it for the first time. Since I have naturally curly hair, that leans dry,  and I color treat it– I have no choice but to condition it a lot. This moisture treatment is so effective in its ability to deliver a surge of moisture to my hair, that I often use it between hair washings. It is a wonderful way to tame frizz, add moisture, deeply hydrate, and maintain a gorgeous shine. The aroma is a light fruity Baobab that I absolutely love.

SACHAJUAN Hair Repair ($33.00 for 3.4 oz from Sephora, Space NKBarneys New York, Bloomingdale's, Net-A-Porter and Cult Beauty): I am not sure why it took me so long to use this sample because it is absolutely AMAZING! It is an intensive hair treatment with, "ocean silk technology for damaged and stressed hair." It leaves my hair soft, silky, manageable and frizz-free. It is so amazing that I definitely plan to purchase a full-size bottle.

Aveda Shampure Shampoo ($13.50-$40.00 for 8.5 oz.-33 oz. from Aveda and Nordstrom): I used this shampoo years ago and loved it so much. I found a sample in my stash, and now I remember why I loved it so much! It is very gentle and non-stripping on the hair, and it has a wonderful aroma. I definitely plan to purchase another bottle once I use up a few more shampoos.

Brigeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray ($20.00 for 5 oz. and $9.00 for 2 oz. from Sephora, Lord & Taylor and Anthropologie): I have naturally curly hair, and I almost always use leave-in conditioner after I wash my hair to detangle and to fight-frizz. This is an ultra-light, leave-in conditioner that hydrates and moisturizes  hair, but it never weighs it down. I definitely liked it enough to buy a full size bottle.
Cleansers, Scrubs, Soaps and Shave Creams:

Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser (Reviewed HERE. $19.00 for 3 oz. from Bloomingdale's, Sephora, Macy's, Nordstrom and Ulta): This is a "dual-purpose liquid cleanser and toner" in one, and while my husband primarily used it, I liked it so much that I often reached for it. It left my skin so clean, but without stripping it. I will eventually get him another tube, and I will undoubtedly reach for it again!

Silkriller Facial Foam (Reviewed HERE.): This is a deep cleansing face cleanser that gently washes the face, lifts impurities and oils without stripping the skin. Skin is left soft and smooth. I liked this cleanser, but I have so many cleansers in rotation that I don't think that I will need to buy another cleanser for a very long time.

Trader Joe's Moisturizing Cream Shave in Honey Mango: This is another staple in our house, and I usually buy 3-4 tubes at a time. It is creamy, moisturizing and the scent is wonderful.

Surya Brasil Sapien Women Facial Scrub (Reviewed HERE. $16.99 for 3.38 oz. from Surya Brasil and Amazon): is a gentle, all natural, exfoliator that effectively removes dead skin cells while nourishing the skin. Skin is left soft, smooth, hydrated, and without any irritation. The tropical scent is refreshing and utterly delightful.

BSB Culminé Pot Of Gold Scrub (Reviewed HERE. $55.00 for 10 oz. from La Bella Day Spa and Ahalife): This is an ultra luxurious, antioxidant-rich face and body scrub that has a delectable warm rich aroma that is an absolute delight to the senses.  This oil and vitamin infused exfoliant gently removed dead skin cells, and it never strips the skin. Instead, it hydrates the skin, and leaves it velvety soft, silky smooth, supple and luminous.

Trader Joe's French Liquid Soap in Orange Blossom Honey: I still love this soap so much that I buy multiples at a time. It is gentle on the hands and smells delicious. You can't beat the price for such a great hand soap. I need to pick up a few on my next trip to Trader Joe's.

Soapberry Body Lather (Featured HERE): This ultra-gentle body soap has antibacterial properties that have been used in Ayurvedic herbal medicine for a wide variety of skin issues. Its vitamin-rich lather is gentle on the skin & hair, and protects them from becoming dry and damaged.
Serums and Creams:

EO® Certified Organic Body Serum 02 Restorative (Reviewed HERE. $21.99 for 4 oz. from EO Products and Amazon): is a featherweight, fast absorbing oil that immediately hydrates the skin while leaving it remarkably soft, smooth and supple. It is an ultra-nourishing body oil that leaves skin luminous and perfectly quenched. The scent is a mood elevating aromatherapeutic blend of the Lavender, Orange, Grapefruit and Rosemary oils, and this combination is utterly scrumptious and calming.

derma e Purifying Youth Serum with Marine Algae and Green Tea (Reviewed HERE. $29.50 for 1 oz. from derma e and Whole Foods Market): This is a perfect serum to pair with the derma e Purifying Gel Cleanser with Marine Algae and Activated Charcoal because, it too, is ideal for combination to oily types of skin. It is a very lightweight and fast absorbing serum that is loaded with anti-aging antioxidants, but it also includes a combination of minerals and "natural toxin fighters" that draw out impurities while delivering much-needed hydration. This works very well on my normal/combination skin, but I use it as needed– rather than on a daily basis.

ClarityRX Take Care Daily Antioxidant Red Tea Serum (Reviewed HERE. $64.00 for 1 oz. from Clarity RX): This lightweight antioxidant-rich, Hyaluronic Acid-based serum immediately hydrates skin plumps fine lines and reduces inflammation and skin irritation. Furthermore, this soothing formula gives skin a healthy, dewy glow.

Mario Badescu Bee Pollen Night Cream (Reviewed HERE. $20.00 for 1 oz. from Mario Badescu and Amazon): This thick and rich cream has the texture and consistency of a balm, and only the smallest amount is needed for the face, neck and décolleté. It is perfect for people with normal to dry skin, but when used sparingly is perfect for my combination skin. It is ultra-hydrating and nourishing, and it leaves skin remarkably soft, supple and luminous.
Assorted Samples:

Philip B. Light-Weight Deep Conditioning Creme Rinse ($29.00 for oz. from Nordstrom, Cult Beauty, Ruelala and Barneys New York): This is an absolutely amazing lightweight detangling conditioner that leaves hair soft, smooth and shiny! I am using up another sample, and plan to buy a full-size tube once I finish. Philip B. can do no wrong, as far as I am concerned.

Philip B. Oud Royal Forever Shine Shampoo (Reviewed HERE. $75.00 for 7.4 oz. from Philip B.NordstromSpace NKBarneys New YorkSkinStoreAmazonCult Beauty (UK) and Net-a-Porter): is utterly unbelievable! This ultra-nourishing shampoo features time-released botanical moisturizers that make hair soft, supple, hydrated and give it a praiseworthy glossy shine. Like the Philip B. White Truffle Ultra-Rich Moisturizing Shampoo, Oud Royal Forever Shine Shampoo is able to give my naturally curly hair unprecedented shine. Those among you with curly tresses know the extent to which it is difficult achieve shiny curly hair, but this miracle formula really delivers serious shine. This ultra-luxe shampoo is without question of of the most decadent and covet-worthy shampoos that I have ever used! I have a full size bottle, and will immediately purchase another as soon as I finish it. It really is that amazing!

Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion (Reviewed HERE$15.00 for 8 oz. from Mario Badescu and Nordstrom): I should probably first state that I don't generally use a toner, and in large part because they tend to be alcohol-laden and as a result they generally dry out and strip my skin with regular use. However, Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion is a remarkably gentle and soothing non-drying alcohol-free toner- therefore I thought that it would be worth trying. While it is formulated with the needs of dry and sensitive skin in mind, I will say that it works wonders on my combination skin as well. It feels refreshing on the skin, and leaves it thoroughly clean, soft, balanced, and I have even noted that my skin feels hydrated after use. Additionally, it feels so refreshing on the skin that I find myself reaching for it twice a day for that reason alone! It has a fresh clean scent that quickly fades upon application- therefore the scent does not linger.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel (Reviewed HERE. 2 oz. $7.00, 8 oz. $12.00 & 16oz. $20.00 Available from Mario Badescu & Nordstrom): This non-foaming gel cleanser thoroughly removes the day's makeup, dirt and oil without drying the skin. Papaya and grapefruit extracts are exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acids that help prevent dulling build-up that can cause blackheads and pimples. Leaves the skin looking radiant and pores clear. Enzyme Cleansing Gel has a light clean scent that reminds me of the smell of lots of aloe vera based products that I have used, but that is not among the listed ingredients. This hardworking cleanser lifts dead skin, oil, dirt, and makeup, but does so without stripping the skin.  After use my skin is left unbelievably clean, silky and soft. If you believe that your skin will only get truly clean from using a foaming or lathering cleanser- then be prepared for a paradigm shift!

Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream (Reviewed HERE. $18.00 for 0.50 oz. from Mario Badescu and Nordstrom): The Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream is a lightweight non-greasy cream that sinks into the skin nearly instantaneously, and it immediately hydrates and moisturizes the delicate eye area. In fact, this is such an effective moisturizer/hydrator that I reached for it often. My delicate eye area is not only left deeply moisturized, but fine lines are simultaneously plumped up, and my skin is left with a luminescent glow.

Mario Badescu Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 17 (Reviewed HERE. $22.00 for 2 oz. from Mario Badescu and Nordstrom): Mario Badescu Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 17 is a lovely lightweight moisturizer that is very gentle, hydrating, moisturizing, and comfortable on the skin. The formula is oil-free- yet is it emollient, non-greasy, and very soothing.

Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum ($158.00 for 1.7 oz. from Nordstrom, Space NK,  Net-A-Porter, Selfridges, Spring, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue): This is a really wonderful antioxidant-rich anti-aging serum, and for some unknown reason I thought that I would have a luke-warm response to it, but was I ever wrong. I loved this down to the very last drop, and it is now at the top of my list of serums to buy. It is lightweight, moisturizing, and it leaves my skin soft, lifted and silky smooth! LOVE!

L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream ($62.00 for 1.7 oz. from L'Occitane, Sephora, Nordstrom and Skin Store): This is a very rich and creamy anti-aging cream with a luxurious velvety texture. It is a little bit rich to us on my normal/combination skin all of the time, but I love using it on my neck and décolleté. This is a really lovely cream, and if you have skin that is drier than mine, you should consider trying a sample– because I think that you might really love it!
Assorted Sample Packets: As I have repeatedly said, sample products do not provide enough product to allow for any sort of meaningful impression about their contents. The only product that I can really comment upon is the TATCHA Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder (Reviewed HERE. $65.00 for 2.1 oz. from TATCHA, Barneys New York, Sephora and QVC) because I own the full size jar, and absolutely LOVE it! Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder is wonderful water-activated enzyme powder that exfoliates the skin without any harsh abrasives, and it leaves skin baby soft and smooth. This is one of the greatest cleansers that I have ever used, and I will always have a jar on hand.
Perfume sample vials: My hope is to find a few perfume samples that are so in sync with my body chemistry that I will be compelled to purchase as full-size bottle. While there are lovely fragrances in this pile of empties, none were so spectacular on me that I am moved to make a purchase.

According to COOLA,

Hurray for Spray! Spritz your sunscreen on the go with this clear, continuous spray in an all natural Citrus Mimosa scent. Offering broad spectrum SPF 30 protection, this Farm to Face® sourced spray will nourish and hydrate skin with 70%+ certified organic ingredients like Cucumber, Algae and Strawberry Extracts; and Red Raspberry Seed Oil, a natural sunscreen booster rich in Omega-3 and 6. Have your fun in the sun and then some with COOLA!

COOLA Sport SPF 30 Citrus Mimosa Sunscreen Spray (Reviewed HERE. $30.00 for 6 oz. from COOLASephoraNordstromDermstore and SkinStore): is perfect for all skin types and active outdoor sports. It is an easy to use spray-on sunscreen the applies evenly and dries down quickly. The delicious Citrus Mango scent lingers for about 15 minutes before it dissipates.

COOLA Sport SPF 50 Unscented Sunscreen Spray (Reviewed HERE. $32.00 for 6 oz. from COOLASephora, and Nordstrom): is perfect for all skin types and active outdoor sports. This unscented high SPF 50 spray sunscreen, like COOLA Sport SPF 30 Citrus Mimosa Sunscreen Spray, is very easy to use. It applies quickly, thoroughly and efficiently. It dries down quickly, and it has no smell of any sort.

What did you use up, toss out, recycle, return or give away in April? Any winners or duds to report?

Purchased and Press Samples. All views expressed are categorically my own (Affiliate Links)
Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved.


  1. The Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum got to me as well! First I had a packet sample, then the deluxe sample bottle (in a kit), and I just got the 30 ml size from The Detox Market during their Earth Day promo. I use it mostly for its immediate hydrating and softening effects, but it's nice to have some beneficial ingredients in there as well. Never thought I would spend this much on something feel good and natural!

    1. Hi Kirsten, I most certainly understand why you feel the way that you do! I am not sure what I expected, but it not only by far exceeded my expectations, but it actually wowed me! I definitely ned a full size bottle in my life! I completely agree with your assessment of this lovely serum!

  2. Yeah, wow is right! I was just trying a bunch of her products and this one really blew me away. I'm sure the botanicals have benefit, but usually for active serums I go for stuff with clinical results.

    1. I feel exactly the same. There have been several products from her line that I have liked, but not the way that I feel about this one. This is the one product from her that I really want in my collection!


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