Ah, the last empties post for 2017. I used up a number of products, and I decided it was time to chuck out a bunch of mascaras that are too old to use.
Although there were a couple of press samples in this batch of empties (Shiseido and Paula’s Choice), the vast majority were products I purchased myself. Let’s see what’s worth repurchasing.
Bath & Body
- Nature Island Botanicals Body Butter, Caribbean Escape and Citrus Sunrise: You’re probably sick of me saying this, but artisan-made body products from Nature Island Botanicals are my favorites bar none. Daphne’s handmade body butter (that’s a super-hydrating but lighter weight lotion than her body lotion – go figure!) is my favorite among favorites! I’ve been buying it for about 13 years, at least. Caribbean Escape is her wonderful coconut scent, and Citrus Sunrise is a lovely orange fragrance. I just used up the Caribbean Escape jar that I bought at the end of the summer, and in my stash, I found a jar of Citrus Sunrise that I had purchased maybe 3 years ago and forgot about – my bad! NIB products are made without preservatives so saving or forgetting about them is a bad idea. Not surprisingly, the citrus scent had faded a bit, but the rich lotion was still fine so I used it up quickly. I am hooked on this fabulous body butter. Repurchase? Yes, I did in December when Daphne had free shipping for the holidays. If you’re a fan of natural and organic bath and body products with fabulous scents, check out Nature Island Skincare on Etsy.
- Nature Island Botanicals Rose Absolute & Provence Organic Lavender bar soap: I have a number of favorites among Daphne’s hand-made bar soaps, and the super pretty Rose Absolute & Provence Organic Lavender soap has become one of them. I love the delicate floral/herbal scent that’s a bit hard to describe: it’s not a strong rose nor a strong lavender, just lovely! The design of the soap itself is very attractive: pink and blue marble on an off-white background. It’s the perfect design to include in a spa or gift basket for a mother-to-be or new mom or for anyone who loves pastels. Repurchase? I will at some point. I bought a couple of NIB soaps back in August, but I don’t think Daphne had this one available at that time. And I just got Lemongrass in my December order.
- Molton Brown Ylang Ylang Body Wash: Jeff gave me the Molton Brown Ylang Ylang Body Wash for Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago. Before that, I had gotten a travel size sample somewhere, and I fell in love with the ylang ylang scent. Years ago, I bought a fan in Chinatown in NYC that was scented with ylang ylang, and the body wash reminded me of it. Repurchase? I will buy another Molton Brown Body Wash again in the future because it is a high quality product with great scents and lather, but right now I want to make some headway in using the several body washes that I already own.
- Natrol Biotin 5000 mcg Tablets: I discovered the Natrol brand of biotin at Costco at least a year ago, and I love the fast dissolving strawberry-flavored tablets. Yum. Biotin really works for my nails and hair. In the winter especially, it’s a must for me. Repurchase? Yes, I did.
- LUSH Santa Baby Lip Scrub: I adore the Coca-Cola scented red lip scrub with red hearts that LUSH brings out every Christmas. I try to remember to replace it every year during the holidays, but this year I forgot to go back to the store for a jar. I discovered the jar that I bought during the holidays last year in 2016, and it must be tossed – it has dried out and it has no preservative. Repurchase? Yes! I just discovered that LUSH Santa Baby Lip Scrub is one of their “buy one, get one free” products right now, so I bought 2 for $9.95. Since I can’t use up two in a year, I’ll do a giveaway with the other one 🙂
- Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment, 1 oz. travel size: I think I got this travel size jar as a free bonus when I purchased the shampoo and conditioner at Ulta last year. Repurchase? No. Although I thought my hair would be a good candidate for the Living Proof Restore haircare line, I discovered that I don’t like it. I don’t like the Restore shampoo and conditioner, and I didn’t like this mask treatment. It was very thick, hard to work with, and I didn’t think it did a very good job hydrating my hair. I’ll stick with my favorite JOICO K-PAK Lustre Lock Hair Treatment instead.
- Shiseido IBUKI Eye Correcting Cream: Shiseido sent me a tube of the best eye brightening cream I’ve ever used to try out for review a couple of years ago. It’s a lightweight emollient cream that I use only on the skin under my eyes to brighten, and it does a great job. It makes a noticeable but temporary change via the light crystals in the formula. Repurchase? Yes, I already did. I bought it online at Ulta because they don’t carry it in the store. Not sure if Sephora does.
- Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30: Although Paula’s Choice describes this moisturizer with SPF as a ‘light cream”, it really isn’t – it’s a thickish white cream that leaves a white cast on my skin due to the physical sunscreens, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, in the formula. While I do like to use physical sunscreens when I can (especially on my body in the summer), on my face I will use chemical sunscreens in order to get a lighter weight moisturizer. I’m not quite finished with this tube, but it’s now a couple of years old and I never reach for it. I should have tossed it a while ago. Repurchase? No. I’m in love with Paula’s Choice truly light weight but very hydrating Skin Restoring Moisturizer SPF 50 with chemical sunscreens!
- Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate, sample packet: At least two decades ago, Clinique’s Moisture Surge put me on the road to my love of gel moisturizers of all kinds. This is a new product, I think, in the Moisture Surge line of skincare products. I think it’s more like a serum than a gel moisturizer, but in the tiny packet it was hard to tell. Purchase? Maybe. Jeff and I are going to Amsterdam in April to see the tulips in bloom, and I know I’ll need a hydrator to take with me to use on the plane. I may consider this since it comes in a travel size tube.
- Algenist Genius Ultimate Antiaging Cream, sample packet: I like the Algenist brand, but since I receive so much skincare from other brands, I don’t get to use Algenist very often. So it was fun to try a bit of the Algenist Genius Ultimate Antiaging Cream with Microalgae ($110/jar). Purchase? No. I just don’t need more moisturizer. I wish I could remember enough about this single use packet to tell you about it, other than that it was a lightweight, white cream with a light scent that absorbed quickly. However, I just found an unopened box with a bottle of Algenist Firming & Lifting Eye Gel in it that I bought quite a while back and forgot about. I finally opened it up, and I’m giving it a go!
- MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Skin Booster, deluxe sample: I received an adorable mini-bottle with dropper of MUFE Ultra HD Skin Booster in a Sephora Play bag. I’m not sure whether it’s a makeup or skincare product, and it reminds me of the IT Cosmetics No. 50 Serum that I included in My Best of Skincare 2017 post. I use IT Cosmetics No. 50 Serum as a hydrating primer, and I assume that MUFE Ultra HD Skin Booster is meant to be used in a similar way. In fact, I asked one of the Sephora SAs about it, and she gave me a small amount to try at home before I received this mini in my Play bag. The Skin Booster is a translucent, cloudy liquid that pretty instantly sinks into my skin. Unfortunately, it isn’t as hydrating or smoothing as the IT Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Antiaging Foundation Primer. Purchase? No. I’ll stick with IT Cosmetics No. 50 Serum for deeper hydration and more smoothness.
Makeup: Old Mascaras that need to be tossed
- Diorshow Lash Extension Effect Volume Mascara: I bought this old favorite last spring during the Ulta spring coupon event. And though I have grown to prefer mascaras with wands with plastic teeth, it was fun to revisit this former favorite with a giant fluffy bristle wand that in spite of its large size, I can use without too much trouble. Repurchase? No. Diorshow is still a terrific mascara: it gives lashes with both volume and length, it doesn’t clump or flake. I strongly recommend it. But it’s expensive, and there are other mascaras that I now prefer.
- CoverGirl The Super Sizer Mascara: I was overjoyed when I first discovered this affordable drugstore mascara with a wand with plastic teeth. With my first tube, I got great results. It did an especially good job providing length and just enough volume. But when I needed to repurchase, I discovered that the quality varied from tube to tube. I found that sometimes it clumped and made my lashes stick together. Repurchase? No. Too chancey. I value consistency in the mascaras I buy.
- Stila Major Lash Mascara: I got this mascara in a makeup duo that I bought from Stila.com quite a while ago. The wand is long and slim with bristles. Unfortunately, I never got good results from this mascara, and should have tossed it ages ago. Repurchase? No. And I don’t think they make this particular mascara any more.
- Too Faced LashGasm Mascara, travel size: I’m pretty sure that it was Too Faced LashGasm Mascara that got me to become a devotee of the thin wand with short plastic teeth. Repurchase? Unfortunately, Too Faced seems to have discontinued my favorite mascara from the brand. Boo hoo, because I’m not a fan of their Better Than Sex Mascara. Thankfully, I have at least one TF LashGasm mascaras waiting in the wings.
- Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara, travel size: I was happy to have a chance to try out the Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara that I received in one of my Sephora Play bags. In fact, I think I’ve gotten a couple of these over the past two years during which I’ve been a subscriber. Purchase? No, absolutely not. I actually hate this mascara. It has a big wand that’s the same size as the Diorshow wand but with bristles that are slightly farther apart. My eyes are not small, but they’re not huge, and I find the big wand very difficult to manipulate around my downturned eyes. Plus, unlike the Diorshow, the formula of the Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara is awful. It requires 3 coats of this stuff to make it look like I’m wearing any mascara at all. Ugh.
That’s it for my empties for December. I’ve already got some empties sitting in my recycling bag for next month’s empties post. How about you? What did you use up last month?