Sunday, July 31, 2022

Beauty Empties to Write Home About in July 2022

Purchased and Press Samples (Affiliate Links)

In July, I managed to use up 8 full-sized products and 4 deluxe samples, and I am pleased that I was able to spare them from the garbage can. My ability to do this each month is my pragmatic approach: I simply make everything I am focussed on finishing very visible. Onto the counter, into the shower, and always within reach, and at eye level whenever possible. I just feel so wasteful and guilty when I am forced to toss out something that turned bad before I finished it. Here is what I finished in July:
Arcona Toner Tea Bar ($42.00 for 4 oz. from Nordstrom): This is a wonderful antioxidant cleanser for aging, normal, oily or problem skin. It has a delectable smell that is reminiscent of steeping tea, and it feels absolutely amazing on the skin. It leaves the face soft, supple and hydrated, but never stripped or dry. It can be used alone, or with a cleansing device like the FOREO LUNA. Purchase Again? At some point, but I have quite a few cleansers to use before I consider purchasing another one.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel ($14.00 for 8 oz. from Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, Bluemercury, Space NK, Macy's and Bloomingdale's): This is a gentle non-foaming cleanser that removes every trace of makeup. 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. I have even used it on my feet because it leaves them soft, smooth and gently exfoliated– thanks to the enzymes that sweep away dead skin cells. Purchase Again? I recently opened another bottle!

Tata Harper Illuminating Eye Crème ($120.00 for 0.50 oz. from Tata Harper, Nordstrom, Space NK UK, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Cult Beauty and The Detox Market):  Described as an, "age-defying eye cream with a universal pearl blush tint that minimizes the look of lines and wrinkles and instantly illuminates with diamond dust"– I thought that this would be the perfect combination of a luminizer and a nourishing eye cream, and it does not disappoint.

If you love Tata Harper skincare, then this eye cream definitely lives up to the rest of the line. It is a lightweight cream that has a creamy and smooth texture and consistency that resides somewhere between a serum and a lotion. It melts into the skin upon contact, can be used on the eyelids as well as below the eyes, and feels refreshing against the skin. It is filled with nourishing ingredients and hydrators, such as Hyaluronic Acid, Shea Butter, and all sorts of active extracts and oils that smooth and plump fine lines, reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles and leave skin soft, smooth, hydrated and supple. Additionally, the "Diamond Dust Mineral Blend" subtly illuminates the skin and optically blurs imperfections. It has a light pink tint, that is pearl infused, as you can see in the swatch below, but when it sinks into the skin it imparts no color, but just a light luminosity.

It has a very light herbal aroma from the natural ingredients, not from artificial fragrances, but it in no way irritates my very sensitive eyes. It takes very little to make my eyes water, and there is absolutely no hint of irritation or discomfort for me when using this cream. Purchase Again? Oh yes, this is spectacular!

Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub ($32.50 for 2 oz. from derma eUlta): This is a wonderfully effective facial scrub. This exfoliator features tiny, and densely populated, exfoliating particles suspended in a creamy base that has enough grit to sweep away dead skin cells effortlessly. The formula is gentle, effective and non-stripping. Skin is left soft, silky smooth, supple and refreshed. It is a very concentrated formula– so this 2 oz. jar should last a long time unless you are using it on your face and body. Derma e suggests that it can be used on your hands, elbows, feet, knees– or anywhere you need to exfoliate rough skin, and I definitely agree that it is quite effective on rough skin in those regions as well. Purchase Again? I just opened a fresh new jar!
Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar ($40.00 for 3.4 oz. from Erno LaszloNordstromSephora, Amazon and Look Fantastic): Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar does an exceptional job cleaning and exfoliating my skin, and it does so without drying, stripping or irritating. Skin is left soft, clear and luminous, and while it is now said to be formulated for all skin types, it used to be for normal, combination and oily skin types. I would say that dryer skin types would only use it periodically for its deep cleaning and exfoliating abilities, but not as a daily soap. I do like to use it with a cleansing oil, but sometimes I use it alone. My one grievance is that the bar used to be a hefty 6 oz., which was far more satisfying to use, and now it is nearly half the size. Purchase Again? I am currently using a full-size bar, and I have an unopened bar waiting!

Erno Laszlo Detox Cleansing Oil ($64.00 for 6.4 oz. from Erno LaszloNordstrom): It is not very often that a deluxe sample sells me on a product since you don't get enough product to get a really good sense of how well it will work for your skin, but that wasn't the case here! I immediately fell in love with this cleansing oil and I am plotting a purchase. It is described as a lightweight clarifying oil that "harnesses the power of Charcoal and Shea Butter Seedcake Extract to deeply cleanse, dissolving surface impurities and makeup without leaving skin feeling tight or dry. Through Color-Change Technology, the dark oil turns creamy-white upon application for activated cleansing you can see." It has a wonderful creamy texture and it pairs perfectly with the Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar. Purchase Again? I have only used this sample, but I plan to buy a bottle when they have their next sale!

Erno Laszlo Firming Essence ($86.00 for 6.7 oz. from Erno Laszlo, Nordstrom): According to Erno Laszlo, "This firming gel-essence delivers a surge of moisture for a complexion that’s visibly plumped and lifted. Super hydrator Hyaluronic Acid binds water to the skin alongside skin-conditioning Spirulina Maxima. Through our Cooling Technology, these actives are encapsulated until the moment they burst upon the skin, releasing the full potency of their revitalizing benefits." I liked this, and while it was definitely hydrating, it didn't really stand out as any more hydrating than any of the other Hyaluronic Acid-based products that I have. Purchase Again? I have limited experience with this product, since I have only used this one sample, but I didn't fall in love with it, and therefore I have no plans to purchase a bottle.

René Furterer 5 Sens Enhancing Dry Oil ($48.00 for 3.3 oz. from René Furturer, Amazon and LovelySkin): This is a beautifully fast absorbing dry oil that can be used on the hair and body. It has a lovely soft aroma that is a treat to the senses, but it isn't long lasting or in the least bit cloying. When I use it on my body, it melts into the skin and leaves it soft, supple, hydrated and nourished. For the hair, it offers extraordinary hydration and leaves locks soft, smooth and manageable. It tames frizz and fly-aways, and it gives hair a glossy shine. Purchase Again? This was my last sample, and I have a full-size bottle in use!
Ooh La La Bay Runner Handmade Soap with Olive Oil and Shea Butter ($6.50 from Ooh La La): Like the Bay Runner Silky Foaming Hand Soap, the scent of this bar soap is truly divine– it is a delightful spicy orange with hints of patchouli, clove and cinnamon. This soap thoroughly cleans, has a very satisfying creamy lather, and it leaves skin moisturized, but without an oily residue. Purchase Again? Most definitely!
Viori Citrus Yao Conditioner ($13.00 for 2.8 oz. from SephoraViori and the Viori Amazon Store): The delectable citrus aroma is extraordinarily pleasant and delightful. This nourishing conditioner leaves my hair very manageable and my scalp comfortably hydrated. It detangles hair, fights frizz and leaves hair soft, silky smooth and shiny. It does not weigh hair down or leave behind an oily residue. Purchase Again? I have one more of their shampoo bars to use, but once I finish it, I will purchase another!
Davines OI Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion ($48.00 for 4.56 oz. from Davines, Nordstrom, Cult Beauty and Amazon): This is a mid-weight silicone-based hair oil that effectively hydrates, tames frizz and fly-aways, detangles, adds shine and makes even the most temperamental hair manageable. It does wonders for my naturally curly hair, and it is so concentrated that only a tiny amount is needed for excellent results. It can be used on wet or dry hair, and I tend to pump a small amount into the palm of my hands then work through my hair. I either let my hair dry naturally or use my blow dryer, and la voilà! It has a very faint nondescript scent, but it isn't long-lasting. Purchase Again? Yes, but I need to use up a few products first.
As I was digging through the pictures that I took of the Viori products that I had tested, I found this picture of my beloved Lola sniffing what was being photographed. It absolutely broke my heart, but also made me smile as I remember that day so vividly. The 6 month anniversary of her death, which is on August 2, is rapidly approaching, and I deeply miss her and I continue to grieve this tremendous loss. However, I thought that I could spread a little joy with this picture.
René Furturer Triphasic Reactional Concentrated Serum ($74.00 for 12 vials x 0.16oz from René Furterer, Dermstore, LovelySkin and SkinStore): This is a 100% drug-free leave-in serum that is formulated to treat temporary thinning hair. This means that it isn't for genetic hair loss, but instead temporary hair thinning that is caused by hormonal changes, such as pregnancy, and stress. I purchased it during the pandemic because I noticed that I was shedding a bit more hair than I normally would, and this was incredibly effective. I used it for three months, and now my hair is back to normal. After running a few tests to see if I was having any sort of health issues, my doctor said everything was normal and that it was simply a stress reaction to a scary global pandemic. I also used their shampoo and conditioner, and will be posting my review of all three very soon. Purchase Again? Only if I ever need it again, but this is absolutely first rate!

  • Addresses the three main factors that contribute to sudden, temporary hair thinning. 
  • Lotus Mineral Complex minimizes the effects of stress on the skin and preserves the scalp's natural balance.
  • Pfaffia extract helps maximize the supply of nutrients available to the scalp and optimize conditions for strong, healthy-looking hair.
  • Lemon essential oil helps to stimulate microcirculation and revitalize hair.
  • ATP provides an essential source of energy to the hair follicles.
Overall Assessment: I am pleased that I finished up all of these products, and hope that I do as well in August. What did you use up, toss out, give away or return in July? Any real winners or duds to report?

Purchased and Press Samples (Affiliate Links). All views expressed are categorically my own. Copyright © 2022 All Rights Reserved.


  1. How nice that you found the photo of Lola with Viori products for her anniversary! Such a pretty kitty <3 You did well this month, too. I'm curious about the Arcona Toner Tea Bar because I love the smell of tea

    1. Hi Allison, It made me cry when I found the picture of Lola sniffing the Viori products– especially today since it marks 6 months since she died. She was a very sweet kitty, and such an incredible character! The Arcona Toner Tea Bar is quite nice, but I don't think that it is an ideal for your dry skin. It is more for normal to oilier skin types. I would say my skin is normal with a fairly active t-zone, and therefore it works well for me, but I think that they have better choices for normal to dry skin.

  2. It's nice to see the namesake of your blog. I don't save empties but I recently tossed a Gucci mascara and a CT one. I also tossed an eye cream that had hardened. Your products all sound great. Marcia

    1. Thank you, Marcia! I miss her so much, and I know that you understand that type of loss firsthand! Mascaras have to be tossed so quickly! Bummer that you had to toss one from Gucci and CT, since they are so nice, and pricey. I have had an eye cream harden before, as well! I really like all of the products that I used up in July, but I have so many other open products that it will be a while before I can justify replacing the products that I really love!

  3. I need a new cleansing product. Does that one (first) remove waterproof makeup? Or is it just for after removing the makeup?
    Michelle | con limón, please

    1. Hi Michelle, I am not sure if you are talking about the Arcona Toner Tea Bar, the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel or the Erno Laszlo Detoxifying Cleansing Oil, but I wouldn't use any of them to try to remove waterproof makeup. I definitely wouldn't use the Mario Badescu anywhere near your eyes though, since it has exfoliating properties and wouldn't be the safest choice to get in your eyes.


I love reading all of your comments and interacting with you- so please do not hesitate to share your thoughts, and to ask questions. Remember that what you have to say is of interest to all of us! Always feel free to email me directly as well. SPAM and advertising links will not be published.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...