Friday, December 29, 2017

Empties Post Volume LVIV: December 2017

 Press Sample & Purchased (Affiliate Links)

As you can clearly see, I managed to finish up a significant pile of products in December. I attribute most of it to the fact that I had a large number of mostly used products hiding in the back of drawers and cabinets, but I also have to say since it is the end of the year that I wanted to clear out my cabinets before ringing in 2018. 

neuRadiance Instant Cell Exfoliator: This is an anti-inflammatory cleanser which warms the skin once applied and cools it after it's rinsed off. Emollient and skin conditioning meadowfoam seed oil delivers superior skin softening benefits leaving the skin calm, relaxed and exfoliated. Would I use it again? It's good, but I have so many exfoliators to use up that I won't likely purchase another tube.

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser: This is a gentle cleanser that was made for all skin types, but that is particularly effective for combination or troubled skin types. Aesop describes it as a, "clarifying gel thoroughly removes surface impurities and offers mild exfoliation from Lactic Acid. Ideal for maintaining immaculately clean skin in polluted urban environments." They further assert that it is, "gentle enough for all skin types and can be used throughout the year in all climates. The Lactic Acid in this formula has been included for its ability to gently remove dry and damaged layers of skin, improving the texture of the skin and making it feel softer and smoother."

I use Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser either by itself, or with my FOREO LUNA, and the results are remarkable either way. It produces a creamy rich lather that has a delectable herbal scent. The Lactic Acid gently removes dead skin cells, and cleans pores, and leaves my skin soft and silky smooth. My skin, while thoroughly cleansed, is not left stripped or taut. Would I use it again? Yes, definitely!

Masque Bar Spa @Home Foaming Oxygen Bubble Cleanser: This foaming cleanser effectively exfoliates dead skin cells without stripping the skin, and leaves it feeling soft, smooth and luminous. The Spa @Home Foaming 02 Bubble Cleanser contains micro-bubbles that draw out dirt, impurities and makeup while the potent orange, lemon, and tea tree extracts exfoliate and brighten the skin. Once activated, the bubbles tickle the skin, but I find it quite pleasant. The aroma is quite faint, and should pose no problem for people who prefer no fragrance in their skincare products. Would I use it again? Maybe, but it will be quite a while before I need another cleanser.

Jeffrey James The Exfoliant Radiant Complexion Scrub: This remarkably effective exfoliant gently lifts dead skin cells, but the Bamboo and Raspberry draw out impurities, while that Tangerine and Oilive offer skin radiance and clarity. This antioxidant rich exfoliant leaves skin soft, supple and velvety smooth, but it also leaves it hydrated– rather than stripped. It has a delectable fruity aroma that delights the senses– especially when it is enhanced by warm water. Would I use it again? Yes, I really loved it!

AMOREPACIFIC Treatment Cleansing Foam: This foaming cream cleanser deeply cleans the skin, removes every trace of makeup and dirt and leaves skin very soft. Would I use it again? Probably not because I have so many cleansers in rotation.

AMOREPACIFIC Treatment Enzyme Peel: This cult-favorite enzyme peel is an exfoliating powder that is activated by adding water, and it removes every trace of dirt and makeup effortlessly. I find that I can only use it once a week, on my normal/combination skin– otherwise I find it a bit drying. Would I use it again? Probably not because I have several other powder exfoliators from Tatcha and Rodin Olio Lusso that I prefer.

Hapbee Face Bar: This is a wonderful face bar that has the light aroma of oatmeal and honey that is comforting and calming to the skin. It thoroughly cleans the skin without stripping it, and it calms irritable, sensitive skin. Would I use it again? At some point, perhaps, but I am currently swimming in more cleansers than I could use so many cleansers. 
Aesop B & Tea Balancing Toner: I didn't use this long enough to decide whether or not I want to buy a replacement, but I really like it a lot. It smells a bit like Ylang Ylang, which I love, and it leaves my skin feeling very clean and refreshed. Would I use it again? Maybe.

EmerginC Pomegranate Cleanser: This is a luscious lathering cleanser that thoroughly cleans the skin, but that is remarkably gentle. emerginC Pomegranate Cleanser is one of those unicorn cleansers that lathers, but instead of stripping the skin and leaving it taut it leaves it quenched, soft, supple and hydrated. It works wonders when used alone, or in conjunction with a cleaning device like the FOREO LUNA or the Clarisonic. Would I use it again? Yes, I really loved it!

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater: Mario Badescu's Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater is the perfect refreshing treat for the skin and the senses! It hydrates skin, feels great, and smells like roses! I use it any time of the day, but for an added treat I store it in the refrigerator for the most refreshing spritz of hydrating rose happiness during the warm weather! I have even set my makeup with this lovely and refreshing infusion, and it does an amazing job. Would I use it again? Yes, I am already on my third or fourth bottle!

Arbonne RE9 Lifting and Contouring Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen: This is a rich, hydrating cream that is remarkably lightweight and fast absorbing. It contains a mineral sunscreen with an SPF 15, and it leaves behind no white residue or film. I makes skin look and feel lifted, moisturized, smooth and supple. I still use a stand-alone sunscreen since my dermatologist told me to never leave the house wearing less than an SPF 30. Would I use it again? Probably not, I liked it but I prefer using creams with at least an SPF 30+.

LA PEAU Eye Contour: Soothing & Replenishing: That I am prone to milia has been well-documented in these virtual pages, and the triggers tend to be overly-rich eye creams that are filled with petrolatum and mineral oil at the top of the ingredients list. I can tell you that there wasn't even the slightest hint of the formation of an unwanted milia with the use of this eye cream. Instead, my delicate eye area was left soft, supple, smooth, ultra-hydrated and luminous. My skin appeared fresh and taut, while fine lines were softened to the point of being barely noticeable. LA PEAU Eye Contour is lightweight and fast absorbing, and the results are immediate. If your skin is prone to dehydration– you will be astounded by the efficacy and speed with which the results become visible. Would I use it again? Yes!

LA PEAU Night Cream-Gel Age Defying Complex: After cleansing my skin at night, I would apply a small amount of this cream to my face, neck and décolleté and watch as it mysteriously sunk into my skin immediately. While I noted that my skin immediately became ultra-hydrated and luminous– it wasn't until the following morning that I would really see the difference. I looked more rested, my skin looked more plump, and my fine lines were softened. Would I use it again? Definitely!

Radical Skincare Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30: I have very a short list of favorite facial sunscreens, and Radical Skincare Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30 remains among my all-time favorites! This non-chemical mineral sunscreen has a lightweight, nearly watery consistency that melts into the skin and leaves behind no white cast or greasy residue. It dries completely clear, and it gives skin a gorgeous luminosity. Furthermore, it serves as a phenomenal makeup primer, and it utilizes "diamond encapsulation to deflect light and blur wrinkles"– all of which makes this skin perfecter something of an Instagram filter in a bottle. In fact, I have noticed that I can forego a foundation or tinted moisturizer because this sunscreen makes my skin look so even in tone and luminous. Would I use it again? Definitely!
Farmhouse Fresh Blushing Agave Body Oil: Given my penchant for face oils and body oils, it should come as no surprise that I am particularly in love with this luxurious body oil. This mid-weight body oil is ultra-nourishing and fast absorbing, and its light aroma is a lovely mixture of coconut milk and red berries. It leaves my skin deeply moisturized, soft, smooth and supple. Would I use it again? Definitely, I love this body oil!

evanhealy Argan Intensive Facial Serum with Frankincense: evanhealy makes absolutely phenomenal clean and healthy skincare products, and her beauty oils rank among my favorite. evanhealy Argan Intensive Facial Serum with Frankincense is a deeply nourishing luxury beauty oil that leaves skin luminous, hydrated, soft and supple. Furthermore, it plumps fine lines and reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation. It is lightweight and fast absorbing, and the scent is utterly divine. Would I use it again? Definitely!

Kneipp Joint & Muscle Herbal Arnica Bath Oil: If you have sore muscles in need of relief, then this wonderful Arnica Bath Oil offers relief, and the added benefit is that skin is left soft and moisturized. The aromatic Rosemary, Pine and Arnica Oils are warming and uplifting. Would I use it again? Yes, in fact I already have a big bottle!

Kate Somerville Dilo Oil: This is a lightweight and fast absorbing face oil, but I didn't have enough time testing it to decide whether I want to get the full size. Would I use it again? Maybe.

Rodin Olio Lusso Geranium & Orange Blossom Face Oil: I used this sample and fell madly in love with this delectably fragrant Geranium & Orange Blossom. So much so, that I purchased a full size bottle. Would I use it again? I already purchased a full size bottle.

Rodin Olio Lusso Jasmine/Neroli Luxury Face Oil: This beautiful, and luxurious, face oil is ultra nourishing and hydrating, and it leaves skin remarkable soft, smooth, supple and moisturized. The aroma, which is a beautiful blend of Jasmine and Neroli, is utterly intoxicating and addictive. This has been one of my very favorite oils for several years, and I cannot imagine being without it! Would I use it again? I already repurchased another full size bottle.

Darphin 8 Flower Nectar: This just wasn't a big enough sample to be able to determine what I think about this oil. It seems quite nice, but I will need to try a few more samples before I am able to formulate a more meaningful opinion. Would I use it again? I would like to try more samples.
Exuviance Performance Peel AP25: This two-part peel (activator and neutralizer pads) is highly effective at exfoliating dead skin, stimulating cell renewal and revealing soft, smooth and supple skin. Unlike some peels, that can be harsh, I found this one gentle enough to use a couple of times a week. Would I use it again? Yes, I would, but I have quite a few left.
LAVANILA The Healthy Fragrance Pure Vanilla: is such an amazing treat to the senses! Where traditional commercial fragrances are loaded with phthalates and harsher chemicals, LAVANILA makes theirs with all-natural and organic ingredients that are completely free of all harsh chemicals. Instead, they infuse organic sugar cane alcohol with a whole host of essential oils and botanicals, and the end result is delectably scented fragrances that are healthy and safe. Pure Vanilla is a warm and creamy fragrance that is absolutely delectable! Would I use it again? Without question, and it's definitely my favorite among their scents.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30: This is a lovely lightweight oil-free formula that is very hydrating for my combination skin. I have been using it for a few years now, and love the way that it makes my skin look and feel. The finish is smooth and natural, and it imparts just enough coverage to maintain a healthy natural glow. Would I use it again? I already repurchased it.

TOM FORD Beauty Lip Color in Nude Vanille: Nude Vanille is nude peachy pink perfection, and while it leans warm in the tube, this gorgeous chameleon of a lipstick morphs once it warms up on the lips. On me, it becomes a touch more pink– which is preferable given my cool-toned complexion. Would I use it again? I have already purchased a replacement.

Leftover lipstick remnants: These are the last bits of lipstick that I scooped out of used up tubes before recycling them. Would I use it again? No. I can't remember what is in each of those little pots!
PediSpa Intensive Moisturizing Foot Mask: This is an ultra-hydrating foot mask that noticeably softens and moisturizes parched feet, and aids in the repair of cracked and calloused skin. Used in conjunction with the PediSpa Exfoliating Foot Mask, this mighty duo makes feet pedicure-ready in no-time. Would I use it again? Absolutely!

Kneipp Aromatherapy Bubble Bath Pure Bliss Red Poppy & Hemp: Kneipp makes the best bath products, and this bubble bath is utterly amazing. The scent is lovely, and the formula doesn't strip the skin or dry it out in the least bit. Would I use it again? Most definitely, I love this stuff!
Topganic Treat Hair Mask with Argan Oil From Morocco For Dry & Colored Hair: One of the best secret weapons to achieve healthy hair is regular deep conditioning, and this hair mask offers deep hydration in only 5 minutes! It is formulated for daily use, but I used it one to two times a week. It leaves hair nourished, soft, shiny, manageable and frizz-free. Would I use it again? Yes, but I don't think that they make it anymore.

Key West Aloe Aloethera Keratin Conditioner: If you need a conditioner that combats frizz, detangles, and moisturizes without weighing down your hair, then Key West Aloe Aloethera Keratin Conditioner is a definite must-try. It leaves my hair soft, silky and ultra manageable. Would I use it again? At some point, but I won't need to buy any conditioner for a very long time!

Kérastase Discipline Spray Fluidissime: This thermal anti-frizz protection spray provides shine and control, and I loved spraying it on my freshly washed damp hair after each wash, and it gave my hair an extra boost of shine and frizz protection. Would I use it again? Without question!

Davines Oi Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion: I have actually been using this hair oil for years, and Davines is one of my favorite brands that I have been using for the last 6-7 years. Would I use it again? I have a full size bottle in rotation, and continue to love it!
Trader Joe's Moisturizing Cream Shave Honey Mango: This remains an absolute staple in our household, and I buy them four at a time. The formula is ultra-moisturizing and creamy, but it does not clog up your razor. It smells delectable, and it leaves skin soft and silky-smooth. Would I use it again? I have already purchased more tubes!

Surya Brasil Sapien Women Shave Gel: This remains my holy grail shaving gel because it is ultra hydrating, it has a delectable tropical scent, and it gives me the closest shave imaginable. It is gentle and nourishing, and such an amazing addition to my shower product line-up. In fact, this is such a great shave gel that my husband uses it for shaving every single day. Would I use it again? Yes.

Dove White Beauty Bar: This gentle, creamy cleansing bar contains ¼ moisturizing cream that leaves skin soft smooth and very clean. I have used this for years, and will continue to for years to come. Would I use it again? Definitely!

Glow for a Cause Body Butter in Wish: Wish is a rich, thick and ultra-creamy body butter that is very moisturizing. It is, likewise, quite concentrated, and therefore a little goes a long way. I apply it to warm damp skin right after the shower, and it leaves my skin soft, supple and very moisturized. While the notes are light florals, white tea, Bergamot and light musks, I read it as a delectable musky coconut. I am smitten with this one in particular because it sits close to the skin and has a beautiful subtle scent as it dries down. Would I use it again? I would.

Moroccanoil Body Butter: This is a delectably scented, very concentrated body cream that is rich, fast absorbing and very moisturizing, The texture is divine and it leaves skin silky smooth and so soft. Would I use it again? Yes!
Savvy Traveler Wipes (listed below): Would I use it again? I still have quite a few left, but would definitely get more for traveling.

Speak Eazy: These are breath freshening wipes that can also clean food from your teeth– what a clever idea!

Take Offz: These wonderful wipes allow you to wash your face without water. If you are on a long flight, these are great to refresh your skin.

Klean Offz: These individually wrapped disinfecting surface cleaners are perfect to keep surfaces germ-free, wherever you are.

In the Klear: In the Klear wipes are lint-free, and therefore perfect for cleaning the lens on your phone, camera, screens and glasses.

No Sweat: These are antiperspirant/deodorant wipes.

EO Natural Deodorant Wipes Tea Tree Single: These are very effective deodorant wipes that I really great for traveling. Would I use it again? I would definitely get these again.

Yuni Shower Sheets: These inventive shower sheets can be used as a washcloth. Their Shower Sheets effectively cleanse and refresh skin, and they are so easy and pleasant to use. Would I use it again? I definitely would for long trips.
End of Month Add-Ons from the Shower and Bath:

Steam Bath & Bath Salts sample packets: Not enough product to judge whether I like them. Would I use it again? I would try them again, if I received samples in boxes, but I am not seeking them out.

JĀSÖN Calming Lavender Body Wash: The hydrating Vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin B5 formula pampers the skin without the use of harsh chemicals, and it neither strips the skin, nor leaves behind a greasy residue. In fact, the emollient lather works spectacularly well for shaving my legs– leaving them soft and smooth. The lavender aroma isn't in the least bit pungent, and has a delectable sweet scent that is both calming and undeniably pleasant. I can hardly wait to try the other scents. Would I use it again? Yes! I plan on purchasing it again! 

Kneipp Lavender Shower Foam Relaxing: This delectably aromatic shower foam is creamy-dreamy, it fills the shower with the sweet scent of lavender, and it is wonderfully hydrating. Not only does it clean the skin thoroughly, and without any stripping, but it also works small miracles for shaving the legs. Would I use it again? Without question, it's amazing!

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Drink It Up Coconut Milk Shampoo: This shampoo is gentle, effective, hydrating and delectably scented. It never strips the hair, but instead leaves it soft and manageable.
Would I use it again? Without question, but I have a lot of shampoo to use before making another purchase.

Rodin + Fields REDEFINE Daily Cleansing Mask: is a non-foaming cleansing mask with gentle small polishing granules. I gently massage it into the skin and then allow it to dry. Not only does it clean the skin without stripping, but it also effortlessly removes dead skin, and it draws out impurities from clogged pores. Skin is left scrumptiously soft, supple and clean. Would I use it again? Probably not. While I liked it I have so many exfoliators to use up before I think about purchasing any more.

L'ANZA Keratin Healing Oil Intensive Hair Masque: This deeply moisturizing hair mask was formulated to restore strength and resiliency, while boosting shine and moisture levels. It also fights frizz, and leaves my hair silky smooth and very manageable. It has a very pleasant nutty, fruity aroma, and is a complete pleasure to use. Would I use it again? I love this mask, and already have another jar ready to go!

What did you use up, toss out, give away, repurchase or return in December?

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


  1. Gee, I thought I did well with my empties this month, but I am blown away at how many products you finished in December, Helen! Though I need nothing right now, I am especially intrigued by the Alba Botanical Coconut Milk Shampoo, the Kneipp Lavender Shower Foam (didn't know they had one) and the oxygen cleanser bar soap. Thanks for reminding me to use up my Performance Peel pads from NeoStrata.

    1. You did, Allison! This was largely a function of facing he end of the year, and wanting to clear as much clutter as possible. I really rummaged through a lot to find mostly used up bottles and jars so that I could just finish hem up before the end of the year. I feel overcome by so many products, and put a lot in my shower to use what I could.

      The Alba Botanica Coconut Milk Shampoo is wonderful, and so affordable. The Kneipp Lavender Shower Foam was remarkable. I need to hide my next bottle because my husband used it a lot, LOL! That can emptied out far quicker than I would have liked. I have so many different peel pads that I decided to try to use of one brand at a time– otherwise there are just too many from which to choose.

  2. wow, you outdid yourself. you have a lot of empties last month, I am in awe!

    1. Well, since it was the end of the year, I felt particularly motivated to clear out some of the clutter. Therefore, I stepped up my efforts to really finish up a big pile of mostly empty bottles and jars last month.

  3. I love AmorePacific I just wish it wasn't soo expensive.

    1. That's a great brand to shop during the Sephora VIB Sale!

  4. I wonder if my sensitive skin could handle the Instant Cell Exfoliator. I really want a chemical exfoliant that is gentle on my rosacea and sensitive skin, but effective.

    1. That's a good question. Since it's pretty expensive, I would see if there is any possible way to get a sample to test it first.

  5. All of that in December? Holy cow! Your empties are #goals :)) Also, there are a lot of products I adore, and some that are on my wishlist.

    1. Well, I felt particularly motivated to clear out the clutter at the end of the year, so I made a real concerted effort to dig up as many almost empty containers, and committed myself to finishing them up! It felt SO good tossing all of those empties in the recycle bin before riding in 2018!

  6. Wow so many empties! I love seeing these posts-I'm nosy!

    1. I was highly motivated to clean out the clutter before ringing in the new year– so I rounded up tons of mostly emptied products and finished them up! It felt so great recycling all of those empties!


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