Monday, February 11, 2013

December-January 2013 Empties

Back with the empties progress in the new year! I'm officially resetting my empties count now to be able to calculate a grand total for this year. I'm hoping that together with keeping a running count on new purchases, I'm going to finally see some stash-dwindling results. I'm excited!

Before I start off with the mini reviews of my beauty trash, I will say that towards the end of last year, I gave away to various work friends a total of 16 products I'd been hoarding in my stash: 3 fragrances (2 body mists and 1 solid), 1 hair spray, 2 skincare and 3 bodycare items, 2 lip products and 2 lipbalms, 1 mascara and 3 nail polishes. To be more precise, I simply brought the whole bunch to work, set it in a box with a little note stating it was all for grabs, and saw it melt day by day - I believe there were one or two things left in the end that I just tossed in the garbage. It was immensly satisfying for me to see that what I'd been unnecessarily holding on to could still be of some use to others and I definitely recommend a similar process! It worked so well, in fact, that I may or may not have repeated it since...
Now, for my personal achievements - let's start with full-sized products. I finally finished my bottle of Redken Body Full Shampoo, which is a volumizing formula for fine and flat hair. While this cleansed very well and had a pleasant, citrusy scent, I didn't like the intense, SLS-induced lather and it did in fact strip some of my semi-permanent hair color; definitely would not recommend this for color-treated hair or any hair type that has even a touch of dryness to it.

The Origins Checks & Balances Frothy Face Wash could aptly be renamed as a 'Facial Cleanser That.Would.Not.Die' - I swear I'd been using it for the past year and a half! Ultimately though, it felt too drying, even though it's supposed to balance more oily areas while moisturizing the dry patches. I also wasn't a fan of a large amount of essential oils thrown into the formula; I've started to suspect that any additional fragrances in facial cleansers may be responsible for the redness I've been experiencing after washing.

The Reviva Labs Hyaluronic Acid Serum has been discussed in depth here, if you're intested; one additional point to make is that this was leaving a bit of a sticky residue on the skin that I thought might have interfered with the absorption of other products layered on top. The Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Defense Moisture Lotion SPF 30 (a big deluxe sample that I'm counting as a full size) is a chemical sunscreen that felt greasy, sticky and not very moisturizing at all, so I'm glad to see it go. Dove antiperspirant stick is just a staple for me.
Among my deluxe samples (wait, there are two full-sized items here: L'Occitane Shea Butter pot and Covergirl clear mascara/brow gel!), three have really stood out. Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara in Black was a fantastic product to try, and the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil got me really hooked on oil-based make-up removers; I promptly bought a similar but more natural alternative (review to come). In short, I'd never seen a make-up remover tackle my eye make-up so easily and effectively. Lastly, a sample of Origins Drink Up Mask also led to a purchase of the travel size product.
To round up, my foil/'one-time use' samples: Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant, talked about in more depth here, Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque, which I really want but already have too many facial masks on the go, and Dermalogica Overnight Repair Serum, which smelt heavenly and felt very luscious and moisturizing on the skin - good product to try if you love Clarins facial oils. I've also used up two sachets of Aura Cacia Mineral Bath, a LUSH Ma Bar bubble bar and an unknown bath bomb in the attempt to use up my old bath products so that I could go and buy some fresh ones. I still have a couple left but I think next month I'll be ready to hit my local Lush store! There's also an unknown perfume sample in the photo, the perfume inside just evaporated into thin air :) I have also used up a couple more deluxe skincare samples during my Holiday trip but since some of them were actually part of the stash at my parents' house, I'm not counting them towards my total.

And there you have it! Hopefully you enjoyed my empties progress report; the new total is as follows:
7 full size products used up plus 16 more given away (grand total of 23)
8 deluxe samples
6 one-time use samples
I'm feeling very optimistic about my stash-reducing abilities this month too so you can expect a really big empties post next time! I'm also going strong on my February no-buy so far - doing pretty good all in all, if I dare say so myself! How are you doing on the empties front in the new year? Any big achievements?


  1. i've got a handful of empties so far this year! Soon to embark on a makeup no buy for the rest of the year, so that is kind of scary! I also like bringing stuff to work haha. I handed off so much stuff the other day! mostly samples and deluxe sizes this time around. cleared out a lot of the perfume sample drawer! :)

  2. I had a deluxe sample of the multivitamin dermalogica mask some time ago and after initial positive impressions it was just so-so. try to get a hold of a deluxe sample before you buy :)
    empties are going well this side of the pond, though i did cave in to the Russian cosmetics trend that is all the rage now in the Polish blogosphere...

    1. I think I might be able to try a few more 'single use' packets to see how I feel about it but for now, I have at least 3 different masks on the go so really don't need another one anyway :) Oh, I've never heard about that trend - well, apart from Rouge Bunny Rouge :) Any exciting bits?

  3. Nice job, Monika! I have an empties to post but decided not to count numbers this year. It's still nice to conduct mini reviews though! You have me curious about the hyaluronic acid serum, stickiness and all. :)

  4. I noticed you had a Dr Weil mask sample - did you like it? Would you recommend?

    1. I've only used it once and then the rest dried out but I did like it that one time I used it, although on really sensitive patches, it still stung just a little bit. It felt quite hydrating and soothing nonetheless and I've heard from more dry/sensitive skin types that it performs very well. Hope that helps!

  5. I've always heard good things about DHC's oil cleanser so I am curious, but I haven't got a clue as to where I can buy it (aside from online, of course--which I have an aversion to). I have been recently using TATCHA's Camellia Cleansing Oil though and I am IMPRESSED--I was always sooo scared to use a cleansing oil because I have such acne-prone, oily skin already but MAN does this stuff clean!! Crazy!! :P

  6. I love love love oil based cleansers! Nothing cleans off tough zinc oxide sunscreen and eye makeup like they do. They only problem is they are a pain to travel with - I've had several that leaked.
    For the past year and half I've used Earth Science A-D-E Creamy cleanser which is oil based, but like a cream so it doesn't leak as badly, but I'm getting a bit bored with it and ready to try some new oil cleansers :-).

    I also didn't like the Origins wash, it was so drying!