Empties: August and September 2014


I didn’t use up enough products in August to warrant a post… but then September rolled around and the basket of empties on my bathroom counter started to overflow!  Here’s the lowdown on what products I used up (or just decided to toss) as summer came to a close.


I used up four perfume samples: YSL Manifesto, Calvin Klein Downtown, Boucheron Place Vendome and Hermes Eau de Merveilles.  Downtown was my least favorite as I found it quite uninspired, while Place Vendome probably ended up being the most pleasant surprise (it was more gourmand than I’d expected, with noticeable notes of honey and praline).


Just two styling products: a Wella glossing spray (loved the look and the smell of this one) and a KMS “add volume” spray gel.


I said goodbye to Givenchy’s Noir Couture Mascara in Black Satin.  This had a brush composed of three rounded, ball-like shapes, which did little for my lashes.  I also used up a sample of Benefit’s They’re Real in black, which was a better formula for my lashes.  I also threw out a brand-new y.e.t Fickle Auto Eyebrow Pencil, which I’d bought online.  Sadly, as is the case with many brow pencils, this one was labeled “brown” but was more like “roan red” when applied.  Way over at the side you’ll see a Mai Couture blotting paper sample that I also decided to toss without using, as I couldn’t envision a situation where I would ever want to blot up oil while also depositing shimmery powder onto my face.  This one had been kicking around for years; it was time to set it free.

Warranting its own mini-paragraph is the M. Asam Magi Fini BB cream (on the right in the small pot with a green lid).  I received this BB cream in a beauty box aeons ago, and was hoarding the last few precious… drops?  Swipes?  Blobs?  I adored the cream-to-powder finish and found the color was truly adaptable, in the way that early BB creams promised to be.  I have no idea where this is sold in North America, but it’s worth picking up if you come across it.

From the Shower

I emptied out my bottle of The Body Shop Almond Shower Gel (a perfect base for gourmand perfumes!), used up a tube of St. Ives Naturally Clear Blemish Fighting Apricot Cleanser (an accidental purchase; I thought they’d repackaged the Apricot Scrub and didn’t realize this was actually a different, less-effective product) and bid adieu to the last few drops of Head and Shoulders in the travel-sized bottle that I brought on my beach getaway in August.  My hair looks awesome when I’m at the beach, but I always find that my scalp feels kind of icky unless I use Head and Shoulders every few days to get rid of salt and sand buildup that my regular shampoos just can’t battle.

Body Care

I used up a B. Kamins maple-infused body lotion sample, which I wasn’t particularly fond of.  I also used up the last few drops of the Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse that I got in this travel kit.  Besides leaving my limbs beautifully hydrated, this has one of the best scents known to man.  A few months ago I also ordered a one-ounce sample of the Makeup Artist’s Choice Glycolic Acid body wash, which I will definitely buy full-sized in my next order as I loved its gentle exfoliating properties.


Looking at all the skincare products I used up, you’d have to think my skin is perfect, right?  It’s actually not that bad, but I’m not sure it reflects the ridiculous amount of expensive product samples that I end up slathering all over it.

I used two sheet masks this month: the Etude House Pearl Extract mask and a Baksshi Aloe Vera mask that I got as a freebie from Ipsy.  I also used up my second bottle of Roc Micellar cleansing water, which I still love (even if it doesn’t make me look like a French girl).  I also finished up my full-size jar of Ole Henrikson’s Invigorating Night Gel, which didn’t deliver the exfoliation that I’d hoped for.

I finally used up a mini bottle of Estee Lauder’s Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator, which was pretty much like every other pearlescent illuminating lotion on the market, and also made it through a sample tube of Bioderma’s Sebium Global “intensive purifying care” lotion for acne-prone faces.  I used up a bizarre sample of Prevage “advanced anti-aging serum”, which had a distinctly fishy smell and warned that I should patch-test for THREE DAYS before applying it to my face.  Umm… that much patch-testing would pretty much use up the entire sample.

I tossed an unused sample of Origins GinZing eye cream because I was concerned that its formula would clog the pores around my eyes and/or lead to milia, as I read a number of reviews that suggested this was a possibility.

And hands are skin too, so I sadly said goodbye to yet another bottle of Gloves in a Bottle, my miracle winter hand cream.

Bits and Pieces

Since I’m weird, I also saved the packaging from a package of cotton rounds, a piece of cardboard from an empty box of Q-tips and the tube from my dentist-recommended Sensodyne toothpaste.

Three cheers for starting fall with at least six square inches of extra space on my bathroom counter again!


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