March 3, 2014

Empty Empty Empty: January & February

Here is my beauty garbage I've saved to review for you from the first two months of 2014! Many of these products I've been working on for some time- they just happened to be depleted within the same time frame. Enjoy!

Nature's Gate Henna Shampoo
I like that this is sulfate-free, and still lathers relatively easily.  It doesn't irritate my scalp, and leaves my hair clean.  I do have to use more-than-the-normal amount of conditioner afterwards, as it leaves the hair very tangled when wet. I didn't notice any increased shine (but I do vinegar rinses anyway, and that adds plenty of shine by itself), and I don't think it deposited any color into my hair (which is dyed a vibrant burgundy).

Nature's Gate Henna Conditioner
I like the conditioner as well, and I would repurchase the duo, but am feeling a pull towards the  conditioner-only/ "no-poo"/ vinegar rinse routine, which I've done before and liked.  This conditioner is thick, good at detangling, and smells pretty nice too. It's got a LOT of healthy oils, and no silicones as far as I can tell, so that's a big plus in my book.

HealthySexyHair Soy Renewal Beach Spray
I've reviewed this in a previous Empties, and now I've finished a full-size 5.1 oz bottle.  I still like it, but I'm going to try the Not Your Mother's version of sea salt spray next, since it's a little cheaper, and this one is fairly glorified for a salt spray, in my opinion.

Pond's Crema S Nourishing Moisturizing Cream
This is the smaller sample pot, which I was using as a night cream after depleting my poor Clinique Moisture Surge Intense.  I like it! I don't think it's quite as moisturizing as the Clinique, but it did the job overnight, and did not irritate my skin.  A good, heavier drugstore facial moisturizer.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
I liked this tiny sample that I got with some Sephora points, but not as much as Moisture Surge Intense.  It might be a good option for someone with more oily skin, or good in the Summer months.  It's a gel, so the texture is much lighter.

Stila Face the Day Multi-use Moisturizing Gel Cream
This is OK, but is much lighter than the Clinique above.  The tube is the tiny tiniest, and I probably got 4 applications out of it.  I used it during the day when I needed a light moisturizer after my sunscreen (my skin doesn't seem to need moisturizer during the day, every day). Wouldn't purchase the full-size, did nothing special for me.

Argan Oil from Garden of Wisdom
I took this into the shower a few times, so the paper label has disintigrated.

I used this oil as my carrier oil for the OCM over the last four months or so. I like it just as well as any argan oil, and the Garden of Wisdom version seems to be cheaper (9.65 for 1oz) than a lot of other "high-end" brands, although if you go on Amazon, there are cheaper options per/oz available! I think I'm going to go back to almond oil though: it's a little bit lighter, and I think my face likes it better.

Paula's Choice Clinical Instant Calm Advanced Redness Relief
A tiny sample sachet I used a couple of times.  I don't have rosacea, but I do naturally have pink skin, and a fair amount of redness in the face.  I also get redness after drinking wine, or if I'm overheated (like most people).  I can't decide if this works or not.  It seemed to take the redness down a couple of notches, but didn't eliminate it completely. I also did not experience rebound redness from it, which is great.  It might be nice to have on hand for those rare occasions I'd reach for it, but I don't think it's a miracle product. (I do love Paula's Choice in general, though!!)


OPI Original Nail Envy
My favorite nail treatment! OK, so I haven't tried that many, but this works for me, so why mess with a good thing? This one did get a little thick and gloopy toward the end, and I wasn't able to revive it. Already repurchased.

Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat
I've talked about this a few times, and I do think it's a very good quick-dry, but the drugstore price is usually near $8, so you might as well go with Poshe or Seche Vite if you don't experience shrinkage with those (I do). I use the Revlon intermittently with INM- Out The Door when I want a higher shine or gloss than OtD gives.

Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea + Olive Growth
I've had  this for probably...5 or 8 years? I'm not sure it does much of anything, so while it is not technically empty, I'm tossing it since I don't use it. You're supposed to apply to bare nails, which I never have, so...

GUD Red Ruby Groovy Body Lotion
I received this as a gift, and looooved the scent.  As a lotion, it's just OK- a little on the thin side. It doesn't seem to hydrate or protect my skin for long, but is nice to have around. I used this mostly on my hands and arms.

Suave Smoothing with Cocoa Butter & Shea
I got this from the dollar bin at Target (I think?). It's also just OK, although feels very moisturizing, and it does absorb/ evaporate? quickly so it's nice to use on the go. It also smells very strange to me.

Avon Holiday Hand Cream
This was received this year, and I managed to use it up before I even returned home from vacation! Feels mineral oil-y.  Not bad.  Not great.

Nourish Organic Coconut & Argan Body Lotion
I think I got this in an Ipsy bag- I can't quite remember. I was using it to moisturize prior to swatching for a while, but have come to the conclusion that a balm is better for that purpose.  It's OK: it's on the thinner side, but does the job temporarily. It does smell of coconuts, but is not the most natural coconut scent ever.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment
My love for this won't stop! I'm either slathering this or the Indigo Bananas cuticle balm on at night. I really think it's incredibly healing, and my good friend said her dermatologist recommended it for her severely chapped lips. Great to have on hand by your nightstand or in a purse or wherever.

Victoria's Secret Hydrating Body Lotion
These are from a gift set containing five small lotions.  I've previously talked about a fourth one here. A nice little lotion to keep in your bag. Thin, but rich, and the fragrances vary in appeal- at least to me. 'Secret Charm' is my favorite of these three, smelling floral/ fruity. 'Love Spell' smells like a fruit roll-up according to my boyfriend, and 'Amber Romance' smells overly musky in an unappealing grandmotherly-way.  I don't know if Victoria's Secret still produces these lotions- I would guess not, as they're more than a few years old.

Badger Soothing Shea Butter Cuticle Care
I've been working on this little tin for a while. It's less solid than some balms (I have in mind the popular Burt's Bees Lemon Cuticle balm), and spreads easily.  But, it's also on the greasier side, so might be better for night time. It's got Shea and Olive oil, so all good things. Sometimes there is a grittiness to the texture that is hard to describe, but that doesn't detract from the quality of the product, I don't think. A very good balm, would repurchase.

Indigo Bananas Cocoa Cuticle Balm
My newest balmy love! Look at all those wonderful ingredients!! Lanolin, shea butter, avocado oil, jojoba oil, cocoa butter- I'm in heaven!

I got the cocoa scent accidentally, but it smells soooo tasty that I didn't mind.  The consistency of this balm is slightly harder than the Badger balm, but it goes on much less greasy, and is supposed to leave a powder/ non-greasy finish.  It really helps heal and moisturize my cuticles and hands overnight. I think I probably slather too vast of amounts to say for sure, but people not trying to perfect their cuticles for up-close photos might be able to reap those non-greasy benefits!

Indigo Bananas just released a few new balm scents, and some of them are lip-safe too, so check them out!

Everyday Minerals Semi Matte Base in 'Fair'
This is a bit too light for me, even in Winter, but it does allow me to be more liberal with blush, bronzer, and contour, which can be fun. I do prefer the matte finish base these days though. I've talked about Everyday Minerals bases before.

Everyday Minerals Sample Size Bases
The top two, 'Fawn' and 'Linen,' are far too yellow-toned for me, so I am just throwing them out since I can't think of who to give them to.  The 'Sunkissed Fair' is actually all gone, and these samples date back to before I was a regular user of Everyday Minerals, and was trying to find my color match.

Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel CreamLiner for Blue Eyes
Phew- what a name! Jesus.

I love, love, love these.  The formula goes on so easily, and all the colors flatter blue eyes. The modular packaging makes me happy, and I will say that the black does have blue shimmer/ glitter in it, which could be a bonus or drawback for some people. I think the blue here, which photographs brighter than it actually is, is quite nice.  It's sort of a rich navy.  The sizes of the pots is pretty small, and I did manage to use a lot of the product up before they dried out. I have had them several years though, so farewell. I am thinking about repurchasing this, but in one of the other color varieties...

HiP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner in 'Teal' & 'Brown'
I liked these for a while, and I think the quality is great, but...not for the pricepoint (~$12: for drugstore that seems spendy to me). Now, they're dried out, so I am tossing them. Yes, I know you can revive gel eyeliner with artificial tears, but I have never had success with that. All that aside, I've had these two pots for at least a couple years, and as someone with sensitive baby eyes, I need to be careful with eye products.  I do remember disliking the tiny angled brushes these came with.

Maybelline Eyestudio in 'Charcoal'
Like many makeup bloggers, (or people in general?!), I love this drugstore gel eyeliner! This one is also very, very old (like 3 years? Ew!!!).  I haven't used it in many months, and it is also dried out, so out it goes!  I will say I love the charcoal color: it's softer than black for someone with fair skin, but still brings out blue eyes. Will probably re-buy this, maybe in a different color for variety.

I also finished a mini of:
It's So B!G Volumizing Mascara by Elizabeth Mott, but forgot to photograph it somehow:

I got this in an Ipsy bag, and while the reviews that I can find are very mixed, I actually LOVE it.  I just think the product name is super misleading. It's very much a lengthening/ defining mascara- not a volumizing one. I don't know if it's the formula (on the drier side) or the brush (long, hourglass), but it really helps curl my lashes while I apply it, and then holds the curl. My favorite way to use this is as a base for layering other volumizing mascaras on top of, since it defines so well without clumping. It works super well for that!

That's It! It always feels so great to get rid of old/ empty beauty products! I hope some of these reviews were helpful.

Bonus: I looked over from photographing the products for one second, and here's what Ham was up to:


  1. I LOL'd at the Ham pics, he look funny in the first picture haha

    Thank you for sharing your opinion of these products. I really want Nail Envy, but it's a bit pricey where I live ($24).

  2. Great empties post! You finished quite a few products too!

  3. Haaaaam. I love love love your empties posts, the photography is amazing and it is so much fun to see the stuff that actually gets used. :)

  4. need to try out that beach spray!

  5. It's convenient for letting your hair air-dry!

  6. Aw, thank you! It feels so nice to catalog everything, and see what I am actually getting use out of. :)

  7. But he lacks the fluff and jowls of Mugen, sooooo.

  8. Haha, he was mid head-shake/ ear-flap. OUCH- that is a steep price for nail envy!!