Saturday, December 1, 2012

November-December Empties

Yay, I'm back with another load of beauty trash! Currently, I'm at the joyful stage of running out of almost every beauty product I own: shampoos, conditioners, soaps, facial skincare... These are just the beginning, expect a lot more in the new year too. All of this using up business finally makes me feel like I'm making a progress in downsizing my stash; I'm sure however this fleeting feeling of satisfaction will be gone after Christmas gifts and hauls...

Anyway, here we go, starting with skincare:
1. Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution Sensitive Skin. EVERYBODY LOVES THIS. The thing is, I like it but I do not love it - in fact, for me it doesn't remove all of my eye make-up, I still have a bit of a residue left the next morning. I'm planning to try make-up removing oils for a bit, so I won't repurchase in the near future.

2. Caudalie Vinosource Quenching Sorbet-Creme. Again, I bought it convinced by all the raves I was hearing left and right but it was just ok; read a more in-depth review here. I think it's not moisturizing for me to be used as a night cream, it's too sticky to use as a day cream and the scent just bothered me. Bothered!

3. Mario Badescu Special Facial Gel. It's a cleanser that foams very poorly yet it manages to dry out my skin. I don't think so. I finished it in the attempt to get rid of a terrifying amount of deluxe-sized samples living in my stash.

4. Clark's Botanicals Intense Radiance Mask. A clay-based mask that's supposed to be left on for 25-30 minutes (who has time for that?!) and that doesn't spread evenly on the skin. The full size retails for $72. Good thing, it doesn't dry me out, bad thing, it doesn't really do anything other than imparting a very annoying scent. Pass.

5. Clarins Hydraquench Cream Mask (a sample pot obtained at the Clarins counter). I quite liked it but not enough to warrant a purchase, mostly because it had a tendency to sting slightly upon application.
Haircare bits:
1. Enjoy Sulfate-Free Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. Enjoy is definitely one of my favorite haircare brands at the moment and this is a very good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner duo without being too heavy for my fine hair. I'm thinking of posting a haircare routine soon which is when I'll talk about these in more depth. Me likes and haz second bottles at the ready.

2. Aussie Aussome Volume Hair Spray. Gone, finally, gone! I kid you not, I have at least 6 hair sprays waiting to be used in my stash and this was definitely the worst of them - quite wet and sticky and making your hair feel very dry after a while. I don't think I'll ever repurchase but then, I don't think I'll need to go out and buy another hair spray in a couple years.

3. L'Oreal Ever Strong Overnight Repair Treatment. It's a leave-in conditioner for overnight use - quite a nifty idea, Redken makes a very similar one. It didn't make a huge difference to my highlighted strands but it absorbs nicely - I think I'll go for something with keratin next time.

Make-up and nails:
1. Benefit F.Y...eye! Ultimate Eye Shadow Base. This has long been discontinued so it speaks volumes as to how long it takes me to use up an eye primer. It was decent enough but I've since replaced it with NARS eyeshadow primer which I like A LOT more. I'm very proud though for my perseverance in finishing this up!

2. Lancome Definicils Precious Cells deluxe mascara sample in Black. I liked using this a lot but it eventually gave up the ghost and is now completely dried out. By the way, I survived most of this year using only mascara samples and still have five more to go through before I'm all out so I'm thinking I may not have to buy a new tube of mascara for another year maybe. This is serious savings, people!

3. INM Out the Door America's #1 Super Fast Drying Top Coat for Nails. Very comparable to Seche Vite for half the price and without any toxic nasties like formaldehyde. Will repurchase.
Lip balms (?!):
1. Softlips SPF 20 in Ravishing Raspberry. I really liked this at one time but after trying some more brands, I find the Softlips to be not moisturizing enough and too tingly on the lips; I might be allergic to their sunscreen.

2. Jouer Lip Enhancer Conditioning Lip Treatment. Very nice rose-scented glossy balm. I liked it but I may prefer more matte finish to my lip balm and the full size retails for $14. Will skip for now.

3. Eos spheric lip thingy. It's a reject - it started smelling funky. Not moisturizing enough and a wasteful shape.

4. Starry Avocado Oil Lip Therapy with Pure Extract. Another reject and don't even start me on this one; nothing therapeutic or pure about it.
Small Samples:
1. Dermalogica Ultracalming Relief Masque. I quite enjoyed this the two times I got to use it - might request another sachet of this mask at work to test it out some more.

2. Dermalogica Ultracalming Serum Concentrate. A bit of a miss with this one; extremely runny and so quite difficult to apply, didn't absorb very well into my skin either. No noticeable results after a few uses but what can you expect, it's a serum, not a magic potion. I won't go out and buy this one.

3. Cartier Baiser Vole Eau de Parfum. These little perfume vials usually last me a good week, am I alone in that? Anyway, this 'stolen kiss' is a very nice springtime floral with a big dose of feminine lily; I have another sample vial and I'm quite looking foward to using it again next year.

November-December Used-Up Total:
10 full sized products (a Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Queen soap bar was not included in the photos)
5 deluxe sample sized products
3 small (sachet/foil packet) samples
2 tossed out products
Grand Total: 20 empties

Well, that was a long one, congratulations if you got this far! Overall, I'm quite happy with my performance the past couple of months. Let me know if including these speed reviews is helpful to you in any way or if I should just skip that altogether to make the empties posts a bit shorter. How are you doing on the emtpies front? Anything you've used up recently?


  1. i like the mini reviews :) good job that you were able to use up mascara samples all year! i'm trying to also... Empties are so hard in general, so GOOD WORK! :)

  2. Yeah many of the known high rated products are not so good after all. I was dissapointed by the EOS too...and it was so hard to get,lol.

  3. Woohoo, Monika! I think I will have to hunt for that Enjoy shampoo next time - is it at drugstores or just beauty shops? I need another sulfate-free formula.

    1. I think it's a salon professional brand... They make travel sizes too so great for just trying out!

  4. I'm proud of you! I can never manage to finish anything because I end up saying "I don't like this at all! *toss*" lol

  5. I've never heard of the INM Out the Door Top Coat, but it sounds great. I've been avoiding Seche Vite due to the scary ingredients. Did you find this at the drugstore or did you have to order it online? And were you able to finish the whole bottle without it going really gloppy about halfway in? I have had that problem with the couple of fast dry topcoats I've tried so far.

    1. Hi Katherine, I got mine from a friend but I've seen it in our local drugstore chain as well as beauty supply stores. My bottle got too thick to use when I've hit around 1/3 mark - I tried to use nail polish thinner to restore it but it didn't work out. Still, it's half the price of Seche Vite and overall the best one I've tried so far (I've tried Sally Hansen, Seche, China Glaze and Essie).

    2. Well that's an improvement over what I've tried. I'll have to give it a shot!

  6. That's a lot of empties! And great products too! ♥

  7. GOOD JOB, MONIKA - YOU FINISHED AN EYE PRIMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *bowing down* :D I've only finished a mini in the past and that took ages. AGES.

    It's too bad about the skin care that didn't work out but at least now your curiosity has been satisfied. I like the empties and mini review sprees because we can move on freely and discard the bad products forever. I'm going to post mine end of this week or next for sure. :)

  8. For Bioderma I find it's really key to soak the cotton pad and let it rest on your eyes for a bit. It will dissolve all the makeup like that, and wipe away easily. I do admit that I don't have the patience for that though, and use rinse-clean oils instead. That said, it is TERRIFIC to have on hand for fixing makeup mistakes and taking off a portion of makeup neatly (like if you want to switch up a lip), because there is no oily residue and it's so gentle.

    1. I think I maybe wasn't using enough but I certainly left it pressed against my eyes for like 2 minutes on each eye and still I was left with smudges. So true about fixing mistakes and what not though!

  9. Oh too bad about the Clark's mask. That's a brand I've been REALLY curious about for a while (especially their Radiance serum...except its so crazy expensive!! :)

  10. Keep the mini reviews, they're very helpful! I think it's good to reflect a bit.

  11. Wow, that's a lot of lipbalms, I really need to get through mine too! I have recently caved in and got an EOS lipbalm (Strawberry Sorbet) and although the scent is not as natural as I would have expected, I actually think it's decent, although a tad overpriced! It's not the most moisturizinf lipbalm I own but it's OK, it tastes sweet and the shape is great to throw in my handbag (: