I didn’t think I had enough empties in June so I waited till July, and now I’m swamped with empties. I have two more products that are 99% empty but I’ll wait on them till August. This is enough!
Let’s get started! Look at all this. I can hardly wait to recycle them!
Not surprisingly, I always have the most empty skincare products because I use them so often, in spite of the fact that I have more skincare products and receive more skincare products to test than anything else.
- Authentic Skin Remedies Quench Nourishing Body Balm, Tahitian Coconut: This is one sublime body balm. Whipped and lightweight like mousse, it goes on like a dream and smells like heaven. The company, Authentic Skin Remedies, was started by cancer survivor, Amy Rueda, and her products are made only with safe, healthy ingredients, and they are all multipurpose, meaning you can use them for just about anything: face, eyes etc. This is my second jar (here’s my original review), and it lasted me a long time. I just love this stuff. $45 for 8 oz. Purchase on authenticskincareremedies.com and at some Whole Foods stores. If I didn’t have so much body cream waiting to be used, I would definitely buy more.
- StriVectin Multi-Action Restorative Cream: StriVectin skincare products really work for me. Multi-Action Restorative Cream was one of my favorites. I used this throughout the winter as my night cream, and it worked as both a hydrator and an anti-aging cream (here’s my full review). It is heavy, so it may not be for everyone. But I loved it, and may repurchase next winter. $95 for 1.7 oz. Available on Strivectin.com, many fine department stores and lots of online retailers
- Coola Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray SPF 50: This wins the prize as my favorite sunscreen this summer. (Here’s my original review.) Though I used to use lotions because they really do cover and protect better, you can’t beat a spray for ease of application and the all-important re-application. This one goes on completely clear, and the guava mango scent is heaven. This can is a travel size at 3.4 oz. and is pricey at $24. It also comes in an 8 oz. size for $36. I was sad to see it go. I would buy more, but I have more sunscreen on hand to test. Widely available on the Coola website, Sephora, Ulta Beauty, dermstore.com, among other retailers
- Davines Authentic Cleansing Nectar for Body/Hair: I received this deluxe sample of multipurpose cleanser in either a Birchbox or Sephora Play box, and I’m usually a fan of Davines, an Italian natural/organic brand. I don’t know about you but I’m not into products for my hair that I can use on my body. So in spite of the fact that Davines is known primarily for hair care, I used this as a body wash. The scent was very masculine, kind of a tobacco scent. I hated the scent. I used it up but definitely wouldn’t purchase this. It might be a great gift for a guy. $28.50 for 280 ml. Purchase on the Davines website or at fine salons/spas
- Bliss Lemon & Sage Soapy Suds: I got a whole bunch of Bliss samples when I stayed at the W Hotel in San Francisco last year and the year before. For me, they are hard to resist. The Lemon & Sage Soapy Suds body wash is one of my favorites. I bring them to my beach club to use in the shower. Sad to use up this deluxe sample but I think I have another one waiting in the wings. The scent is perfect for summer. I’ll keep my eyes open for a full size of this at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. The regular price is $18 for 16 oz. on the Bliss website, QVC, Macy’s, Ulta Beauty, jet.com etc.
- Simply Manuka Hand Cream: I wrote about this fabulous hand cream from New Zealand that’s made with Manuka Honey just recently (here). I received three versions of this hand cream, but I like this one best because it’s fragrance-free. An absolutely terrific, greaseless, effective hand cream. I strongly recommend it. Now where did I put the other two fragranced versions of this hand cream?? $3.99 for 1.35 fl. oz. Purchase on the Pacific Resources website.
- SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: I got this deluxe sample from Influenster, and it’s one of the best things I’ve gotten from Influenster so far. When I came back from Arizona in April, my skin was desiccated. This fabulous essence helped bring it back to life. I truly adore this essence, and I was crying when I finished the bottle. This stuff, unfortunately, costs a fortune. The least expensive ways to repurchase are either on Cosme-De.com but the largest size (perhaps the most cost effective) but it’s over $200, or for 40% off on Sasa.com $132 for 250 ml. The one ounce size that I received from Influenster is about $95. Cry!
- Davines Authentic Replenishing Butter for Face/Hair/Body: Again, a multipurpose cream. I can’t imagine using it for all three purposes. I used it as a body cream and it was great. Nice smell, thankfully not a tobacco scent like the Cleansing Nectar. Very hydrating. Searched for it on the Davines website but couldn’t fine it. Maybe it’s a new product.
- Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer: I got this sample packet in the mail from Dermstore along with a recent purchase. I used it the other night, and it was very pleasant: nice smell, hydrating enough for summer use for my dry skin. I think it would be great for combination or oily skin year round. I probably won’t purchase this because I have so much skincare.
- L’Occitane Balm Levres 10% Shea Butter: I received this lip balm as an amenity at a hotel I stayed at in New York. It was unscented and had no discernible taste. Yet I wasn’t a big fan of this lip balm. It was a bit stiff and gritty, and there are just a lot of others that I prefer.
- Tarocco Blood Orange Exfoliating Soap: I got this sample at the hotel we stayed at in Sedona AZ. It has a fabulous orange scent, and it has small natural particles suspended in the soap for exfoliation. (I wrote about all the Tarocco products I tried here.) If I didn’t have so much more soap stashed away, I would repurchase it in a heartbeat. $9.00 on Opulence of Southern Pines website.
- It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product: I got this travel size version of It’s A 10 from either ipsy or Birchbox. For me, it was a revelation. Boy, does it work well to keep frizz away, protect my hair from the heat of flat ironing, and it helps my style stay in for a few days. I adore this product. I am going to try to use up some other similar hair products that I already own, but I may cave and have to buy more of this right away. We’ll see if I can hold out. The price ranges: $8-9 for the 2 oz. travel size, $13+ for the 4 oz. size depending on the retailer. Sold at Ulta Beauty, JCPenney, Target etc.
- Swisspers Hypoallergenic 100% Cotton Rounds: I bought a huge, 8 sleeve box of these babies at Costco several months ago. This is about the 4th package I’ve used up. What a bargain this has turned out to be! I love them. They’re the right size, don’t pill, they’re soft. Look for these at Costco. I think I paid around $12 for 8 packages. You won’t be disappointed. Glad I have a few more sleeves left to use.
- Sea sponge: Sorry I don’t know the brand. I like sea sponges for cleansing my face. They’re soft and natural. I bought several at Ocean State Job Lot recently for a little more than a dollar a piece. They’re supposed to be for applying makeup but I use them for cleansing. I microwave them to keep them clean.
- Peter Lamas Lash Masque: Unfortunately, this white lash primer didn’t work for me at all. I didn’t get any more volume using this before my mascara. Instead, it made mascara more difficult to apply. Maybe it was me, maybe I used it wrong. I’m tossing it.
- theBalm Stainiac Tint for Cheeks and Lips: I got this deluxe sample in an ipsy bag, and I was super excited to try it. I love the idea of lip stains but this one was awful. It didn’t go on evenly without a lot of work: I would end up with a dark line around the outside of my lips with lighter color inside. Plus it was drying. I haven’t tried it as a cheek stain because I prefer regular blush. I’m not quite finished with this stain but I’m tossing it. $15.50 for full size.
- theBalm Mr. Write (Now) Eyeliner Pencil: I was over the moon when I got this gold eyeliner pencil in one of my ipsy bags (because it wasn’t another black eyeliner!), but it turned out to another dud from theBalm (a brand that I usually love!). It’s a twist up pencil which is usually a good thing, but this hasn’t turned out to be good. This pencil is so stiff that I can’t get it to show up on my eyes or even to swatch it on my arm. It kills me to do it, but I’m tossing this disappointing eye pencil. Boo hoo. $17.
- L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara: I haven’t kept up with all the new mascaras coming from L’Oreal over the past year because there are just so many of them. Besides, for me L’Oreal hit it out of the park with Voluminous Butterfly Intenza (reviewed here). I love the plastic tooth wand with a curved shape all around that definitely helps me get a more cat-eye shaped look with longer outer lashes. Plus, a truly no clump formula. This is my favorite drugstore brand mascara, bar none (so far)!
So the duds for me are: L’Occitane Lip Balm, theBalm Staniac, theBalm Mr. Write (Now) Eyeliner Pencil, and Peter Lamas Lash Masque. Davines Cleansing Nectar wasn’t a fail for me but I thought would suit men better because of the scent. The rest of the products are all recommended.
What have you used up this month or so?