September 5, 2013

Empty Empty Empty: July & August

I finished up so many things during the months of July and August that all of it barely fit into the bowl! Now, some of these items I had started long ago- years even- but I just happened to deplete it all at the same time.

Let's get started:

Hobe Naturals Sesame Oil -100% Pure with Vitamin E
This is a lighter oil that I love using to remove eye makeup.  It spreads easily and really dissolves all kinds of junk that I put on my eyes.  I also liked it as a carrier oil for the OCM which I do at night. (I talked more about that here.)  This size took me about 5 months to use up completely, but I wasn't using it very consistently.  I will probably repurchase some type of sesame oil, if not this one.

CVS Baby Oil- with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E
I also use this to remove eye makeup, and since it's much cheaper than sesame oil, I prefer it.  It is really, really excellent at getting even waterproof eye makeup off, and feels soothing to massage around the eye area. I also sometimes use baby oil to moisturize skin after shaving.

Orly Tough Cookie Nail Strengthener
This generally has horrible reviews, if you do a Google search.  That's because it pops your nail polish off in sheets! Don't expect it to adhere polish for any serious length of time (and it will vary depending on water exposure, ect.)

However, I love to use this as a peel-base method if I know I'm going to be re-painting my nails soon, or especially if I'm wearing something super chunky and glittery.  It's really convenient! This has the obvious, added benefit of hardeners for your nails, which I think? might actually work, but it's hard to say since I also use OPI- Nail Envy and take Biotin.

This particular bottle is very, very old, and the remaining contents became way too thick and stringy to use.

Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat
My new favorite quick dry topcoat! I don't like Seche Vite or Poshe very much, as both tend to cause shrinkage even though I do everything to prevent it.  I usually use INM- Out The Door, but switched to this while looking for something a little glossier.  This fit the bill, and dries slightly faster than Out The Door, in my experience.

It does suffer the same fate as Seche Vite toward the end of the bottle; you can see I had a bit left, but it just becomes too gloopy to use, unfortunately.  Still worth it, though!

Rimmel Stay Matte Translucent Pressed Powder
This seems to be a drugstore cult favorite as far as translucent setting/ mattifying powders go.  I like it!  It's super cheap, but you don't get a lot of product, and the packaging is flimsy as hell - so keep that in mind.  That said, it keeps my skin matte for quite a few hours, and I work in a 90+ degree environment some days!  When you're sweating all day, I don't really think anything can keep you perfectly matte, but this works for me at least for the first few hours! I'm going to repurchase this.

Maybelline Volum'Express The Rocket Mascara
Caveat: I didn't actually finish this.  Someone else tried it out, and then I subsequently gave it to them since it didn't really work for me (plus- Ew, eye cooties!).  I know the beauty blogosphere is nuts about The Rocket mascara, but it didn't really give me length or volume, and I wasn't able to successfully apply multiple coats without it clumping.  Bummer.

Maybe the bristles on the spiky brush are too short or something.

Also, I found it extremely difficult to remove- even though this wasn't the waterproof version. I cleanse my eye makeup with some kind of oil, usually, and I've never encountered a mascara so unwilling to come off- UGH!

Simple Sensitive Skin Experts Eye Make-Up Remover
"Kind to eyes"?  Lies! I had an epic struggle trying to use this up, and honestly I should have just returned it or thrown it away, because it burns my eyes like the lava of a thousand volcanoes.  Seriously!  My eyes would become really red and painful- even until the next morning. And to top it all off, it is just mediocre at removing eye makeup- even non waterproof kinds.  WTF?!  I was not pleased.  Do. not. buy. this.

Artelac Rebalance 0.15% Sodium Hyaluronate
Here are some eye drops that I love.  They aren't too moisturizing in the short term, but during the month that I used this, my eyes became a lot less irritated generally, and seemed to be less red.  I used them every night after removing eye makeup. (They don't contain vasoconstrictors, so are healthier for your eyes!)

The bad news:  they aren't available in the US, so you'll have to pay extra for them if you live here. I got mine from Amazon, and paid $26.00 which included Royal Mail service.  That's expensive, I know, but I've tried every eye drop on the market, and these are good. Would buy again (wallet permitting)!

Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops- High Performance
These are plain old lubricating drops (not for contacts) for everyday use. However, they work really well, and tend to give me a few hours of relief.  My eye doctor even told me that these particular drops are very good, for whatever that's worth. I use them in the morning when I wake up.  Will repurchase!

Aquafresh Extreme Clean Whitening Action
I basically have the same feelings toward this, as I did for the last mini sample toothpaste I finished.  Nothing special, but not bad either. 

Coola SPF 20 Mineral Sunscreen
I received this .23 oz sample size in an Ipsy bag, and actually really like it.  It's unscented, broad-spectrum, is absorbed by skin easily, and doesn't leave me looking oily.  What I don't like is the mere 20 SPF.  I need more than that on a regular basis!  I'm really fair, and need broad spectrum 32+.  Otherwise, I liked this.

Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream
Did you know that you can take a simple quiz at about your skin, and then receive free, tailored-to-your-skintype, samples in the mail?  That's how I obtained this little sample pot.  I liked it, but it's a little too heavy for Summer use, for me.  I especially think it feels nice around the eye area.  It does have a scent- not seaweed, exactly, more like powdery night cream.  I'm bad at describing scents!  It's not a bad fragrance, though.

Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Oil-Free Gel Cream Moisturizer
I've reviewed this product in a previous Empties post, but just finished up another sample tube.  I like it, but not sure if I'll buy the full size since I like to try all kinds of different moisturizers.

V05 Extra Body Volumizing Conditioner
I liked this, but it's not going to work for every hair type.  If you need major detangling, this isn't for you.  I need volume, though, and I like this conditioner for that.  I did notice a difference, although maybe it's just coating my hair follicles in wax?  I have no idea! It's cheap, silicone-free, and the smell is nice.  I have a backup bottle going already, since this one came in a 2-pack.

Psssst! Instant Dry Shampoo
Got this small 1.76 oz bottle in an Ipsy bag.  This is supposedly the original dry shampoo, and to be honest, it's my favorite I've tried (out of three or four brands).  This little bottle went quite quickly for me, and the only thing negative I have to say is that if your hair is dark, you'll want to be careful, as this can give you a white cast.  I had to work a little harder around my temples to brush/ blowdry it out so that there wasn't noticeable white color there.  It definitely refreshes less-than-clean hair, and adds volume, without irritating my scalp, which I find miraculous.

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray
Also received this in an Ipsy bag, and was super happy since I've wanted to try a sea salt spray for some time.  I liked it! I have wavy, fine hair, and my waves tend not to stick together and just look stupid.  If I add product to define them, it usually ends up too heavy, since my hair is so fine.

This salt spray solves both problems.  I just spray onto damp hair, do some sloppy finger-curling, and then let air dry.  My hair looks messy, but presentable the next day, with minimal effort, which is great for me, because I'm bad/ lazy at hair!  I've already bought the full size. (I also love the scent.)

I do wonder if it will dry my hair out over time, but it does contain argan oil, so maybe that will counter-act the effect of the salt?

Avon Holiday Edition Hand Lotion- 1.5 oz tube
Yep! I finally used up my last Avon hand cream that's been chilling in my possession for way too long (read: years).  I wrote about it here before.

Aveeno Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion
I've had this bottle for probably 5 years! It's just been in and out of storage, but I was finally determined to finish it.  I actually loved it.  It's very moisturizing, and does smell very relaxing actually.  As far as I can tell the main moisturizing ingredients are glycerin, petrolatum, dimethicone, and Isopropyl palmitate which is palm oil. That combination seems to work well together though, and this made a good sporadic hand/ body lotion for me. 

Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Moisturizer
Here is another lotion that's been floating around my life for at least a few years.  I originally got this for legs and arms, I think? But, recently I pulled it out and began using it as a sporadic hand cream, and I've got to say that it's pretty amazing, as a lot of Cetaphil products are.  It seems light, but actually does some heavy duty moisturizing, while at the same time absorbing fairly quickly. It contains glycerin and sunflower seed oil, as well as shea butter. It's fragrance free, so would be good for people with sensitive skin or eczema.


Premier Hand and Body Cream
This is great for a light hand lotion.  It feels pretty slippery and "minerally," and does actually have salt in it.  I wonder if the salt helps your skin retain moisture?  I'm not sure.  The smell is light and refreshing too, like the ocean.

Chiara Hand Cream
I obtained this from on a whim, and it took me a long while to use it because I found the scent completely overpowering.  It smells like old lady potpourri- just very pungent and unpleasant. The texture was nice though! It feels very mineral oil-y, but actually contains coconut oil extracts.  Did a good job at hydrating my hands on a short-term basis.

...And: that's all!  I had a few more products that I was super close to finishing, but they just weren't quite gone.  Sometimes it surprises me how much stuff I go through in two months time! However, I am making much more of a concerted effort lately to use up older items, and to just generally pare down the products I have in semi-storage or rotational use.  Feels good to completely use stuff up!

It's like beauty anti-hoarding!


  1. Great empties!!! I agree with you on the mascara. I had such a hard time getting it off, it wasn't worth it. I love Maybelline One by One (cherry red tube) and Lash Blast (orange tube).

    1. I too like the original Lash Blast and some of the other ones like Lash Blast Luxe. I'll have to look out for Maybelline One by One.

  2. Ooh thanks for the heads up about Mario Badescu, I'm going to check out that quiz/samples thing!

  3. Have you tried Systane Balance eyedrops? They're pricier than the regular Systane, but I have chronic dry eye and they worked really well for me.

    1. I don't think so...maybe I will try those next. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. Maybelline The Rocket IS very difficult to remove, I agree, but there were only two times in my life when someone would compliment my lashes and in both cases I was wearing The Rocket :) It works great for me :)

    1. That's awesome, haha! Mascaras are so personal, you never know what will work for you or not. :D