Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mid-Winter Empties

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Mid-Winter Empties

I finished off a lot of things in January, it seems! Some of these are from early February too and, as usual, there are a few products that didn't get used up but needed to be discarded for one reason or another. I actually think I used more samples in foil packets than I have here, but that I threw some of them away instead of hoarding all my garbage like a weirdo. Oops. I'll give you a quick review of what's in the photo and direct you to more information when possible. As always, let me know if you want more information about anything.

Starting from the top left corner and moving left to right in rows (roughly):

e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit in Light (reviewed here): I've had this kit for at least 8 years. Yikes. There was still a lot of product left, but the wax had finally started to smell a little off. It might have been my imagination, actually, but I decided it was time to let it go anyway. I'm not sure if I'll buy another one. It's really great for the price, and if I don't find anything to replace my discontinued Avon eyebrow pencil, I might just fall back on this stuff again.

Simple Facial Cleansing Wipes (reviewed here): My favorite wipes. I haven't replaced them, because I am now using Bioderma micellar water with my DIY cotton pads instead (I've been using those same ones for almost 3 years now, and they are still in great condition), since that creates less waste. I might buy some more of the wipes one day if I am going to travel.

Paula's Choice Resist Ultra Light Antioxidant Serum (reviewed here): This stuff is a winter skincare staple for me, so I'm on to a new tube now.

Hourglass Immaculate Foundation in Porcelain (sample packet): I really hated this. It was heavy and dry-looking and didn't last.

Life's Entropy Lip Theory in Recursion (sample, reviewed here): Paraben-free makeup gets funky sooner than stuff with good preservatives in it. I should probably find my sample of Apoptosis and chuck it too.

Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist (mini sample vial): It felt quite nice when spritzed on my face after moisturizing and had a mild, pleasant, floral scent. But I sure as hell am not going to be buying any $90 glycerin water.

So Choix sample pans of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light and Diffused Light (briefly/sort of reviewed here and here)

L'Oreal Lineur Intense Felt-tip Liquid Liner in Earthen Rock Brown (reviewed here): Sadly discontinued. I have a replacement, but when that runs out, I will probably try the Physician's Formula brown liquid liner, rather than buying another old one of these on Amazon. (BTW I got the Physician's Formula liner in black, and it's just as good as you all told me it would be. Review coming soon!)

Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid (reviewed here): This is a skincare staple for me all year round. When I finished this bottle, I experimented with their 2% BHA Gel instead, because I thought it might be more convenient, since I wouldn't have to use a cotton pad. It wasn't nearly as effective for me, unfortunately, so I am back to the liquid. I'm using the gel mixed with lotion as an aftershave on my legs, since it helps to reduce irritation and prevent ingrown hairs.

Sephora Instant Moisture+ Cream (sample packet): This moisturizer works well enough, but it has a very strong, generic floral fragrance, so I wouldn't recommend it. Nothing special.

Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer SPF 15 (reviewed here): Yet another staple for me. I've used up a lot of those lately! Since I go through a bottle of this about every six months, I actually signed up for the Amazon Subscribe & Save thingy to save some pennies on it. Amazon seems to be the cheapest place to get it, anyway.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion (reviewed here): I actually use this as a makeup remover or as the first step in double cleansing. I haven't replaced it, because I'm trying to use up some other products first.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (sample packet): Well, this stuff seems to live up to its reputation. It was effective and not drying when used alone or as a first step in double cleansing. There was enough in this tiny packet for at least 5 uses, so I think a bottle would last a really long time. I don't even mind the light fragrance, which smells like rosemary. I actually wondering if it's worth buying a bottle right now, since DHC has it on sale on their website for $22. Plus you get a free eyeliner with the cleansing oil. They also have free shipping on $35 until Feb. 28 with code MARSAVE35, but I don't know what else I would get--and I'm supposed to be on a No Buy! I won't. I won't.

e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer (reviewed here): This was old and crappy but not actually empty.

Sally Hansen Insta-dri Topcoat: I think this is the best quick-dry topcoat for the price, about $5. I don't know how people do their nails without quick-dry topcoat. At all.

Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint in Shell (sample packet): This was the wrong shade for me, but from the name of this product, wouldn't you expect a tinted moisturizer? Because it was medium-full coverage and not moisturizing at all. I really have never been impressed by an Hourglass foundation.

Bare Minerals Mineral Veil (mini): This mattifying/finishing powder is decent, but it's not the finest texture. I liked it best applied with a damp sponge (a little more detail here).

TokyoMilk Dark Lip Balm in La Vie En Rose: I really liked this balm. Now I'm using the Absinthe scent, which I'm not a fan of--smells like fake apple. But it works well enough.

Mica Beauty . . . some potted lipstick that I got from Ipsy way back when. It was a pretty color, but an impossible formula to actually wear. Definitely not empty, but it just needed to go away.

Epionce Intense Defense Serum: I got a bunch of samples from this brand a while back. Probably got half a dozen uses out of this sample, but I certainly wouldn't pay $136 for a bottle of serum that smelled this awful unless it performed some kind of instant magic. (It didn't.)

Diorshow Mascara (mini): Ugh. I mentioned this on Instagram, but the brush was waaaaaaay too big for my eyes, and I really can't stand scented mascaras (WHY DO THEY EXIST?), so I only used this for about a week, even though I could have probably got quite a bit more out of it.

Urban Decay eyeshadow card samples whose names I did not write down

Hang Ten SPF 50 Sunscreen (mini): It was a fairly typical chemical sunscreen. Maybe a little less greasy than some other SPF 50s.

Paula's Choice Redness Relief Treatment: This stuff has unfortunately been discontinued, because it makes a great soothing aftershave. I think I had this bottle 3-4 years and didn't even get through half. That's much longer than recommended, but since I only used it on my legs, I wasn't overly picky. I decided to let it go when I started using the BHA gel (mentioned above) for the same purpose.

Did you manage to get through all of that? Anyone else been finishing things up like crazy lately? It's very satisfying.


  1. Ooh, I never thought of mixing the Paula's Choice BHA with lotion and using it on my body! I'll have to give that a try. Also, I've been looking for an affordable and actually good black liquid liner, so I'm looking forward to your review of the Physician's Formula one.

    1. I am really excited about the PF liner so far. I don't know how it will hold up over time yet, obviously, but first impressions are . . . impressive!

  2. how is the wear on the top coat? i would trade quick dry for long wear, but quick dry is definitely a plus!

    1. I'd say the wear is about average, but I almost never get more than a few days without chipping, so it's hard to say. My nails are pretty soft. But I can never avoid smudging/denting, even, without drying my nails as fast as possible.


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