Monday, May 29, 2017

Empties and discards

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I'm not sure what I want to review next, so how about a good, old fashioned empties post. Everyone likes to look at photos of trash, right?

Since I'm going to be making a cross-country move in a few months, I've been gradually weeding out my excess stuff (not limited to, but including, beauty products). As a result I've divided this post into two parts: actual empties and things that aren't finished but that I'm throwing out anyway. I also filled two boxes with products that are still good and will be passed on to someone else, but since they aren't garbage, they aren't in this garbage post.

I haven't been keeping bath and body products or foil packets, so the photo above doesn't include absolutely everything I've used up since my last empties post, but hey, close enough. I'll start at the top left of the photo above and go through these things row by row as briefly as possible, linking to previous reviews when they're available to avoid repetition.

CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream: Mini- review here. I wouldn't buy this again, though if you like their other lotions, you might like this.

CosRx Acne Pimple Master Patches: Reviewed here. I love these, and I have 3.5 more packets to go through before I'll need to buy replacements.

Paula's Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer: This moisturizer is light but effective, and I enjoyed using it during the winter. I'm not sure it's special enough to be worth the high price, though.

Beauty Blender Cleanser (sample): As I said here, this is just castile soap, which you can get much cheaper elsewhere.

Moroccan Oil (sample): My sister gave me this little bottle when I lamented my hair's dry frizziness this past winter. It worked well enough, though it didn't help me get a comb through my wet hair. Plus I realized that it was a different product causing the problems, rather than a lack of product (see discards discussion below for more on this).

Korres Bergamot Pear Hand Cream: It smelled neither like bergamot nor pear (more like a generic floral-apple scent) and wasn't particularly effective when my hands were really dry during the winter. I wouldn't buy it again.

Bioré Aqua Rich Watery Gel Sunscreen: Reviewed here. It's good stuff, and I would consider buying it again, though I don't love all the fragrance and alcohol. Still, I've been thinking about trying the Watery Essence version.

Paula's Choice Skin Firming Line Minimizer: This stuff took me forever to finish, and I never noticed any improvements to my skin. Plus the packaging is ridiculous.

Paula's Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum: Reviewed here. I absolutely love this serum during the winter, but during the humid summer months the humectant properties are too much for my oily-combination skin. I'm glad I finished it by spring, and I'm sure I'll buy another one the next time I face a long, cold, dry winter.

Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid (travel size): Reviewed here. This exfoliant is a staple in my skincare routine all year 'round. I use it most mornings. When I stray from it, I notice my pores reverting to their natural clogged state and my skin getting duller fairly quickly. I'm on a regular sized bottle now. (Remember when a bottle of this stuff cost about $20? Sigh.)

Wet N Wild Fergie Take On The Day Eyeshadow Primer: Reviewed here, and now sadly discontinued. No, the new Wet N Wild primer is not identical. I'm using my Black Radiance eyeshadow primer now.

Lancôme Cils Booster XL Mascara Primer (sample): Reviewed here. Wouldn't buy it.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (sample): Of the ALPs I tried from So Choix, I liked Dim Light and Luminous Light best. I've read some reviews of Dim Light that say it's too dark for certain people's complexions, but I didn't notice any color at all showing up on my pale skin. Maybe it's different for people with different undertones than mine, or maybe my sample was made up from a particularly light part of the powder.

Ojon Rare Blend Hair Oil (sample): Not especially memorable. Make sure you shake it, because it has three layers, and the top one is all heavy oil. Trust me, it doesn't look pretty in your hair on its own.

Beauty Blender: I cut it in half to see what was inside! I like the Beauty Blender, but I'm using a cheaper alternative now.

Avon lipstick: The label is long gone. This was a sheer, iridescent red lipstick, and it was one of the oldest makeup products I had. It was finished years ago, and I think I kept it around because I wanted to find something similar, but I'm not really attached to it anymore.

Paula's Choice Endless Lash Mascara: This mascara isn't great, but I ran out of mascara, and I had a credit, so mediocre free mascara seemed better than good cheap mascara at the time. I definitely don't recommend paying the excessively high price they charge for this stuff. In general, Paula's Choice makeup is blah.

Epionce Lyctic Tx (sample): This is basically a BHA serum. It smells like lavender and wasn't nearly as effective as the Paula's Choice BHA liquid. I certainly wouldn't spend $54 for this stuff.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (sample): Sort of reviewed here. I've finally used up my last Perversion sample! Though these things seem to self-replicate almost as endlessly as Smashbox primer samples, so I'm sure another one will pop up before long.

And here are the things that I threw out without finishing:

Vidal Sassoon Spray Heat Protect & Shine: I think I got this from Influenster a couple of years ago. I started to blow my hair a bit more often this winter, and I remembered I had this stuff, so I thought I might as well try to protect my hair from heat damage. I can always use some more shine, too. It wasn't until after months of using this spray, as my hair was getting drier and rougher, that I bothered to look at the ingredients and saw that it's mostly alcohol. No wonder! READ THE INGREDIENTS, FOLKS!

MUA Dusk Til Dawn Palette: Reviewed here. I depotted the shades that were most interesting and the rest can go. (There is a pan of some red lipstick sample I got from So Choix stuck in there too, but I forget what it was. Something I didn't like!)

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Cannes Crush: Reviewed here. I was never a big fan of the color or the formula, and now it's old and I used it only a few times.

Revlon Lip Butters in Candy Apple and Lollipop: Reviewed hereLollipop was one of the first bright pink lipsticks I ever had, but I soon moved on to other things. These two had started to smell a little off, so it was time to say goodbye. And these two mark the last of the too many lip butters I once hoarded.

e.l.f. Essential Lipsticks in Posh and Voodoo: Reviewed here. These were good lipsticks when I didn't like lipstick, but now I like lipstick and I'm not so into these lipsticks anymore. (lipstick lipstick lipstick.) Plus, again, very old.

Life's Entropy Lip Theory in Recursion (sample): Reviewed here. It's paraben free, so it got funky faster than your average lip product.

Life's Entropy Yellow Foundation Mixer (sample): Reviewed here. See above.

Cynthia Rowley something-or-other lip sample from Birchbox: Old. Funky.

TheBalm Stainiac: I actually love this lip stain, and it still seemed fine, but . . . though I'm not a stickler for use-by dates on makeup, this was so ancient that I was getting weirded out. I certainly got my money's worth, though, because I used it ONE MILLION times. I'll probably replace it once I use up a few other lip products.

NYX Concealer in Green: Sort of reviewed here. Old. Don't like.

Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Eye Cream: First of all, it's a gel, not a cream. Second of all, it has a lot of alcohol in it, which I could maybe forgive if it were beneficial in some other way, but it wasn't. I used it for about a month and then tossed it. Eye "creams" are mostly bullshit, anyway, right? (Though I admit I've been intrigued by The Ordinary caffeine serum, because I've read reviews that say it actually improves dark circles.)

Lancôme Juicy Shaker and YSL Tint-in-Oil: Samples from So Choix. Meh.

That's it! If I've learned anything from this batch of discards, I supposed it's always to read the ingredients (which I should have known already), and not to collect all the colors of a lip product just because you like one of them, which is pretty much what happened with the Revlon Lip Butters and e.l.f. lipsticks. I have no doubt I will continue to repeat those mistakes in the future. Stay tuned!

I'm curious: do you try to finish up a product even if you don't like it, or are you fine with just throwing it away if it's too old or too shitty to give to someone else?


  1. Those CosRX patches are pretty amazing! I had a sample of another kind (kinda meh), so I am waiting to use those up before repurchasing the CosRX ones, which are the best ones I have tried to date.

    As for the last question, for me it depends how much I don't like it or if it can be re-purposed. If it is a face/eye cream, I will use it as a body lotion, face wash as a body wash, etc. However, if the scent is terrible, I will just toss it. For makeup items, I will sometimes toss those if they are terrible products, otherwise I give them to my sister.

    Lately I seem to have accumulated a ton of deluxe sized leave-in hair products. Some of them are pretty meh, so I have have been using them as a pre-shower mask or an overnight hair mask, which has actually worked out pretty well so far.

    I try to keep in mind the whole sunk-cost fallacy but sometimes it is really hard to just toss something if it isn't finished even though there is no point in using something I don't like if I have other products I do like.

    1. That's a great idea for the leave-in products! I have some of those that I haven't been eager to use, so I'll give that a shot.

      The sunk cost thing is tricky, because if using the crappy mascara prevents me from buying a new mascara, then it's not really sunk. But if I'm going to buy that replacement product anyway and then let it sit there while I suffer though something shitty, that doesn't make a lot of sense.

    2. I love repurposing things! Any skin care I don't like for my face or body gets used on my feet (esp. overly scented cream or too-harsh exfoliants). I clean my toilets with rejected shampoo and body wash.

  2. I never force myself to finish products that don't work for me. If I like it well enough and can finish it without too much trouble, then I will, but if it's something that I actively dislike and can't give to anyone else, then I do toss it. I have SO many products (especially lipsticks) that I love, and life is too short not to wear them! The products that really give me trouble are the ones that are just okay but far from being finished. Revlon Cherries in the Snow is a good example: I don't love how it looks on me, I've barely used the tube, I probably should toss it because it's almost six years old, but ehhhhh I just can't bring myself to get rid of it.

    1. I see a lot of people doing project pans where they keep saying, "Ugh, I hate this stuff so much! It's complete garbage!" Meanwhile using it everyday for a month. In those cases I just want to tell them to let it go. It's not worth it. Why bother? But I guess for some people the satisfaction they feel when finishing a product they bought, even if they don't like it, is enough to make the torment worthwhile. (Hmmm sounds kind of like grad school, except for maybe that last part . . . )

  3. If I've used up a good portion of something and it's no longer working or too ancient for comfort, I chuck it. I try to make the rule of only keeping things to pass on/sell that I'd be comfortable receiving. There are still plenty I agonize over, like things that are barely used but are ancient and should be tossed.

    1. That seems like a good rule for when to give something away--although some people I know are fine with receiving used liquid lip products, for example, while I'm not too keep on it (depends on what and where it comes from), so I'm never sure about that sort of thing.

  4. I generally don't use up products I don't like, because I have a lot of products I DO like and I'd rather use them. I keep a makeup bag next to my vanity and just toss products in it when I reach my breaking point with them. I am a big fan of the constant declutter.

    I feel like the Revlon Lip Butters have reached the point in the product life cycle where everyone is getting rid of them, probably because we all bought ours in 2012 when they first came out and are now realizing how old and gross they are. I actually did use one up a few years ago, but I tossed at least three due to old age.

    1. Yes, I have one of those hate boxes! I agree about the Lip Butters. I liked them when I was newish to lipstick, but never really got what the hype was about (which I think is part of why I kept buying new ones--a mistake I hope not to repeat). Though I got my Revlon Balm Stains around the same time, and I still love them. And they seem to still be in perfect condition.

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  6. I also hate those blog posts like, "this is the worst eyeshadow ever, I'm going to use it every day for the next 400 days until it's gone" because then I feel guilty about neglecting my hated eyeshadows.
    And even though I dislike wasting things, using up things that don't work or that have gotten gross is beyond my cheap self.

  7. I find myself horsing things I hate in a hidden drawer. I also try to use up skincare that I don't hate persay, just stuff I'm not overly thrilled about. Things get junked after about 6 months of burning hatred every time I look at them *coughEyekocough*

    I don't have anybody in my life who would want my discards, just a coworker who gets pink things that don't work for me after swatching.


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