Wednesday, September 30, 2020

September 2020 Empties

Press Sample & Purchased (Affiliate Links)

It should come as no surprise that over the last six months, while working from home that I have used a lot of products. I suppose being home all day has inspired greater use, and therefore more self-care during these trying times. Here are the products that I finished up in September:

1) African Botanics Baobab Clay Oxygenating Cleanser ($60.00 for 3.38 oz./100ml. from African Botanics, Bluemercury and Credo Beauty): This luxurious, lightly lathering and water soluble cleanser, which has a silky clay/gel texture, is unlike any other cleanser in my current collection. It gently balances skin, without stripping it, and it expertly draws out impurities and unclogs congested pores. Furthermore, it calms irritated skin while reducing inflammation and redness. 

The African Clay gently heals acne and blemishes without drying out or traumatizing the skin, and it effectively draws out impurities, and regulates sebum and oil production. It contains the essential oils of Sandalwood and Cedar that help to calm skin, while Jasmine blossoms serve to fade scars. The Green Rooibos Tea, which is a potent antioxidant, also serves to reduce redness and irritation and is known to help heal skin inflammation, and to help treat skin conditions such as eczema. 

Skin is left visibly toned, even in texture, balanced and lifted, but it is neither left dry nor in the least bit taut. In fact, the antioxidant-rich formula leaves skin plumped and protected, while the rich African Botanicals, Marula Oil and vitamins hydrate and nourish the skin.  Furthermore, skin is rendered remarkably smooth, soft as silk, and with a pronounced clarity and luminosity. It is also a fantastic treat to mix it with African Botanics Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish for a light exfoliation. This cleanser has a wonderful earthy fragrance that greatly enhances the sensory experience of using this beautiful cleanser that is formulated for all skin types. Purchase Again? YES!

2) African Botanics Pure Marula Cleansing Oil ($60.00 for 3.4 oz. from African Botanics, Net-A-Porter, Revolve and Credo Beauty): This lightweight oil is an antioxidant and omega-rich oil that was formulated to gently cleanse and purify even the most sensitive skin types while removing makeup, dead skin cells as well as pollution and other impurities. It is so gentle and effective that it neither dehydrates the skin, nor causes irritation. It is suitable for combination, sensitive and dry skin types. Repurchase? I already opened a deluxe travel size! 
3) Rodial Super Acids X-Treme Pore Shrink Cleansing Pads (These appear to have been discontinued): The pads themselves are very generously soaked with Rodial's magical serum, and will unquestionably give you more than enough product to use on your face. After a single use I could see that these were no ordinary exfoliating pad because rather than simply lifting and removing dead skin and dirt it, and leaving skin somewhat stripped as some exfoliating pads do, SUPER ACIDS X-treme Pore Shrink Cleansing Pads leave skin hydrated thanks to the Beneficial biotilys probiotic technology. After use my skin reveals a pronounced clarity and radiance, but it also appears lifted and more refined. While I wouldn't say that my skin appears poreless, I would say that my skin appears more toned and taut-- and my pores are less noticeable (though I wouldn't say that enlarged pores is an issue for me). Repurchase? I would, if Rodial made them again.

4) Colbert MD Tone Control Facial Disks ($80.00 for 20 disks from Colbert MD, Amazon, Dermstore and Olivela): Most of the solution soaked exfoliating pads that I have used are thin and double sided, Colbert MD has broken this mold by opting for a very plush and thick single-sided pad. The generously saturated pre-moistened disks include a small tab on the back that makes holding them very easy, and it allows one to maintain effortless control. While I thought that I had achieved exfoliating pad nirvana with the Colbert MD Intensify Facial Disks, I discovered that Colbert MD Tone Control Facial Disks are a whole different level of paradigm shifting exfoliating pads. Not only do these pre-moistened disks provide effective, and gentle, microdermabrasion from the surface texture of the pad, but they also encourage cell turnover that aids in the promotion of collagen production. Skin, unobstructed by a proliferation of dead skin cells, is then able to effortlessly and effectively absorb skincare products. The end result is unbelievably silky soft, smooth, supple and luminous skin. Additionally, Colbert MD Tone Control Facial Disks are saturated with ingredients that even out skin tone, lighten dark spots (hyperpigmentation), soothe redness and brighten the complexion. Repurchase? I have a full box open!

5) Colbert MD Intensify Facial Disks ($70.00 for 20 discs from Colbert MDDermstore, Olivela and Amazon): I have regularly used various types of facial exfoliating pads for many years, and have to confess that my experience with Colbert MD Intensify Facial Disks was a real game changer for me all of those years ago. While most of the solution soaked exfoliating pads that I have used are thin and double sided, Colbert MD has reimagined its form and instead has opted for a very plush and thick single sided pad. The generously saturated pre-moistened disks include a small tab on the back that makes holding the disk easy, and allows one to maintain effortless control.

The combination of the mild microdermabrasion action from the surface of the pad coupled with the enzyme action of the solution immediately and effectively encourages cell turnover that aids in the promotion of collagen production. Skin, unobstructed by a proliferation of dead skin cells, is then able to effortlessly and effectively absorb skincare products. The end result is unbelievably soft, smooth, supple and luminous skin. Purchase Again? I have a full box open!

6) Arbonne RE9 Advanced Prepwork Gel Eye Masks ($50.00 for 60 gel masks from Arbonne): These soothing and cooling gel eye masks, which boast an antioxidant-rich formula, de-puff the delicate skin below the eye while softening the appearance of fine lines and they offer serious hydration. If you are a fan of eye masks, these are a must-try! These gel eye masks have no detectable aroma. Repurchase? I have more gel eye masks to finish up before I contemplate purchasing more, but I really like these, and would definitely use them again.

7) Patchology Flashpatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels ($15.00 for 5 pack from PatchologyNordstromSpace NKBloomingdale'sUltaDermstoreRevolveSkinstore and Bluemercury): Patchology Flashpatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels, which are are biodegradable, cruelty-free and vegan, effectively cool and de-puff the delicate area below the eyes, and they moisturize, soothe and refresh. Furthermore, each time I use them I notice that my dark circles are diminished, my fine lines are softened, and that my skin boasts a dewy luminosity. Repurchase? I will definitely consider it once I use up this box and the other eye gel masks in my drawer!

8) Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch The Original Acne Stickers ($12.99 for 36 and $21.99 for 72 from Hero CosmeticsSkinstoreiHerbAmazonMadewellTargetWalmartBloomingdale's and Thrive Market): These are phenomenally effective, and in fact they work so fast that I was actually astounded by the results. It has been very hot here in LA, and after sweating profusely while cleaning out the garage I ended up with a sizable pimple on my chin. I had a long Zoom work meeting the following day and I knew that I needed to do something to try treat this large blemish– so I took a look at the spot treatment products that I had and found these. I washed my face before going to sleep and placed one of these little hydrocolloid disks on my pimple and then went to bed. When I woke up in the morning I was shocked to see that pimple was nearly flat and had almost completely gone away. I simply couldn't be happier with the results. Purchase Again? I have another pack to use up first, but I would definitely consider repurchasing this in the future.
9) Lancôme Rénergie Lift Multi-Action Light Day Cream ($99.00 for 1.7 oz. from Lancôme): This thick day cream is surprisingly lightweight and fast-absorbing. It has a luscious silky-smooth texture that melts into the skin effortlessly, and leaves it immediately looking and feeling soft, smooth supple, hydrated and moisturized, and those benefits last all day. It includes an SPF 15 for added protection, but since I live in Southern California, I never leave the house wearing anything less than an SPF 30. I should not that it does have a light semi-floral fragrance, but it isn't in the least bit cloying or long-lasting. Repurchase? While I liked it a lot, I would opt for a higher SPF day cream instead.

10) Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil ($132.00 for 1 oz. from Space NKSephoraThe Detox MarketCredo Beauty and goop): This antioxidant-rich face oil was conceived to hydrate dull, lackluster skin that is in need of brightening and hydrating. The nutrient-rich formula restores moisture to irritated, dry and chapped skin, and is the perfect choice for all skin types– especially during the colder months of the year when dehydration is more prevalent. The oil is lightweight, fast absorbing and it leaves behind no oily residue whatsoever. Skin is left plumped, hydrated, unbelievably soft, smooth and supple. Repurchase? OMG, YES!

11) Kneipp Lavender Bath Bar (Was $5.00 for 4.76 oz. from Kneipp): This gentle bar boasts a lovely lather without stripping the skin in the least. Great in the shower or taking up pride of place at your bathroom sink, this luxurious aromatic bar is a delight to the senses. Repurchase? I would in a second, but it doesn't appear that they are still making this wonderful bar!

12) Farmhouse Fresh Soaps:

Farmhouse Fresh Blueberry Chia Seed Whole Milk Soap ($12.50 for 4.5 oz. from Farmhouse Fresh): Farmhouse Fresh Blueberry Chia Seed Whole Milk Soap features blueberries from Oregon, whole milk from the Midwest and chia seeds. This is a rich and emollient whole milk bar that also contains Vitamins A and B12, rice bran, olive oil, coconut and buttery fats that nourish and hydrate the skin without ever stripping it. The rich lather makes this great for shaving legs and underarms as well. The delectable blueberry aroma seriously smells good enough to eat! Repurchase? I definitely will!

Farmhouse Fresh Pistachio Cream Goats Milk Soap ($12.50 for 4.5 oz. from Farmhouse Fresh): Farmhouse Fresh Pistachio Cream Goats Milk Soap features California Pistachios and goats milk.
This is a rich and emollient whole milk bar that also contains Vitamins A and B12, rice bran, olive oil, coconut and buttery fats that nourish and hydrate the skin without ever stripping it. The rich lather makes this great for shaving legs and underarms, while the creamy pistachio aroma fills the shower with its delicious sweet scent. Repurchase? Definitely!

13) Nubian Heritage Raw Shea Butter Body Wash ($12.99 for 13 oz. from Nubian Heritage): Between the creamy texture and the warm milky aroma, this nourishing and hydrating body wash is a delight to use. It thoroughly cleans the skin, and it neither strips, nor does it leave behind an oily residue. Instead, it leaves skin soft, silky smooth and hydrated. Repurchase? I have a brand new bottle waiting to be opened!

14) African Muti Mud Mineral Body Scrub (On Sale for $20.00 from goop): Marula African Muti Mud Mineral Body Scrub is an ultra-luxe mineral and phytonutrient-rich Muti Mud-based scrub, which is inspired by an ancient spa ritual. It has a delectable light cocoa scent that ignites the senses while it detoxifies and purifies the skin. Its exfoliating particles are at once ultra-efficient and gentle, making the perfect choice for all skin types– including the most sensitive. While African Botanics Marula African Muti Mud Mineral Body Scrub gently removes dead skin cells, it not only leaves skin soft, supple and moisturized, but it also leaves it noticeably luminous with improved texture. Unlike many oil-based body scrubs, this one neither leaves an oil-slick on the skin, nor on the shower floor– therefore there is no added clean-up after use. If ever there was a perfect body scrub, it is this one.

There are two wonderful ways that one can use this scrub: First, in the traditional way one can apply to dry or damp skin and gently massage it in a circular motion. The second method, which is how I am using it here, involves applying it to dry skin and leaving it on for 10-15 minutes. This method allows the Muti Mud to detox the skin before the scrub is massaged into the skin in a circular motion. The results are astounding when used alone, but when used in conjunction with the rest of this spa treatment, the results are even more pronounced. Skin is left unbelievably silky smooth and soft. Repurchase? Most definitely! Especially on sale!

15) Dr. Canuso Daily Exfoliating Cleanser ($22.95 from Dr. Canuso): This is an amazing daily exfoliator that is specifically formulated for daily use on feet. Dr. Canuso makes the very important point that one should clean the shower floor with bleach in order to kill fungus that gets transferred to our feet, and this often neglected step with go a long way to eradicating foot fungus that one often associates with the gym, and not the home. With daily use, I quickly noted that my winter-worn calloused feet became soft and callous-free. While I do not have signs of foot fungus, I definitely noted a vast improvement in the condition of my feet. Repurchase? Perhaps at some point. I have used two tubes already, and really like this!

16) South of France Violet Bouquet Hand Wash (Available from South of France Natural Body Care and Amazon): This hand soap boasts a rich lather that is enriched with a proprietary blend of Coconut and Olive Oils and Mediterranean Sea Algae that moisturize and clean the skin without ever stripping or drying. It smells like violet candies, and is such a pleasure to use! Repurchase? Absolutely!

17) Dove Pink Beauty Bar ($2.99-$12.99 for 2-14 bar packs from Target and Walgreens): This creamy cleanser contains ¼ moisturizing cream to help make skin soft, smooth and hydrated. It doesn't strip skin in the least, nor does it leave it taut. Repurchase? No question! Their bars are a staple in my house!

18) L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Hand Cream (Was $12.00 for 1 oz. Travel Size): This delectable and silky smooth hand cream, which is enriched with shea butter, nourishes and protects hands while leaving them beautifully fragranced. Repurchase? I don't think this is still available in th US, but I would definitely buy it again if I could find it!

19) Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream ($16.00 for 1 oz. from Amazon):Yu-Be products have a cult-following for good reason, and most who have entered the fold began with their famous Moisturizing Skin Cream. This is a thick, rich and concentrated cream that sinks into the skin quickly, and it makes short work of restoring dry skin to happy moisturized skin. A little goes a very long way, so even with regular use a tube or jar should last a while (unless of course you succumb to the temptation and slather it everywhere because it feel so good). Not only is Yu-Be a versatile cream that can be used on the body, face, and lips-- but it is also one of the 7 wonders of the world that can make the driest of hands and cuticles look and feel soft, supple, hydrated and restored. Like the divine Yu-Be Lip Balm, their Moisturizing Skin Cream also contains Camphor. The scent dissipates nearly immediately after it is applied to the skin, but if you are sensitive, allergic, or intolerant to this ingredient you should be aware that it is among the listed ingredients. I find the scent, albeit short lived, very pleasant and comforting. Repurchase? Eventually, yes!

20) May Lindstrom The Good Stuff Body Oil ($110.00 for 3.38 oz. from May Lindstrom): May's The Good Stuff Radiance Oil– it is unmistakably one of the most extraordinary body oils that I have ever tried, and to say that savor and covet it barely expresses the extent to which I am enamored of this gem.  Described as, "a rich and decadent marriage of cocoa, rose, lavender and ylang-ylang," this delicious blend of tantalizing and intoxicating aromas delight the senses while bathing the skin in luscious, rich moisture. This stunningly enigmatic oil delivers intense hydration to the body and hair, while calming and delighting the senses and calming the mind.

The delicious blend of antioxidant-rich plant, nut and essential oils deliver profound nourishment and hydration to the skin and hair immediately and effectively. The lightweight formula sinks into the skin effortlessly, without an oily residue, and it reveals an enviable lit-from-within ethereal glow. Skin is left velvety soft to the touch, sinfully supple, and dry skin gives way to utterly balanced and hydrated skin. The intoxicatingly beautiful aroma sits close to the skin and invites repeated and prolonged deep breaths. Repurchase? I can't currently find it on her website, and I am not sure if it is out of stock, or if it has been discontinued, but I would DEFINITELY buy this again!

21) Susanne Kaufmann Body Oil ($72.00 for 8.4 oz. from Space NK): I really liked the way that this oil made my skin feel, but I didn't have enough time with this oil to formulate a meaningful opinion. That said, I am very curious about this brand and want to try their products. Repurchase? Not based upon this sample, but I could definitely see trying it again.

22) Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil ($66.00 for 3.4 oz. from  Sephora): Again, this deluxe sample didn't provide me with enough time to formulate a meaningful opinion, but I did like using it. Repurchase? Not based upon my short testing period, but I would definitely be open to trying it again.

Overall Assessment: That is what I managed to finish in September, and I will be so busy with work in October that I don't know if I will be able to take as much time to pamper myself. What did you use up, toss out, give away or return in September. Any real winners or duds to report? Do tell!

Press Sample & Purchased. All views expressed are categorically my own (Affiliate Links). 

Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.


  1. Wow on the amount of empties. You really must have amazing skin after using these wonderful products. This shows some good came out of being home all the time.

    1. I definitely have been using a lot more of my stash since I have been working from home. My skin is generally pretty happy these days, but even great products can't eliminate the effects of the stress associated with what is happening in the world, and the impact that it can have on the skin!

  2. Wow, the sheer number of empties you finished is amazing! All those different soaps, oils and eye gels are incredible. I am waiting to finish up my South of France Lemon Verbena liquid soap so I can start on the lovely Violet

    1. That's what working from home has done! I definitely have been using far more products– largely because I have more time– though frankly I seem to be working longer hours! However, all of that time that I spent in the car commuting is now gone! I can't wait for you to try the Violet hand soap– it smells so much like those little square violet candies!


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