July Empties

by Joyce in

I can't believe it is almost August already! I didn't think would finish much this month, but I think I ended up doing an OK job in the end. 

Lush Dreamtime Bath Melt, Lush Celestial Moisturizer, Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel, African Botanics Marula Firming Botanical Body Oil, Malin + Goetz Pepperment Shampoo, Oribe Signature Shampoo, Rouge Bunny Rouge Foundation Sample, Burberry Foundation Sample, Diptyque Eau Rose Sample

Lush Dreamtime Bath Melt, Lush Celestial Moisturizer, Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel, African Botanics Marula Firming Botanical Body Oil, Malin + Goetz Pepperment Shampoo, Oribe Signature Shampoo, Rouge Bunny Rouge Foundation Sample, Burberry Foundation Sample, Diptyque Eau Rose Sample

I've reviewed a number of these items before, and I have to say that I would definitely repurchase Lush Celestial Moisturizer (review) once I use up a few more things as well as the Lush Dreamtime Bath Melt (review). In the end, the Lush Prince Charming (review) scent wasn't one that I want to stick with for a long time, and while I like the African Botanics Marula Firming Botanical Body Oil (review), I really just don't need it right now! 

I've already repurchased Diptyque Eau Rose (which you'll see in a few sample tubes here) as well as the Nars Smudgeproof Eye Primer. 

I liked trying samples of both the Malin + Goetz Peppermint Shampoo and Oribe Signature Shampoo. Both have pleasant, subtle scents and seem to clean my hair nicely. I don't need any shampoo at the moment and generally prefer not to spend more than $15 on shampoo, so we'll see if I ever decide to buy those. (I would rather splurge on some Shu Uemura if I did decide to spend!)

I also realized that a few of the foundation samples I had were dried up! So... remember to use your foundation samples in little pots cause they dry up within a few months. :-P 

Life NK Ultimate Unwind Body Wash & Lotion, dr. dennis gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad, Diptyque Eau Rose

Life NK Ultimate Unwind Body Wash & Lotion, dr. dennis gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad, Diptyque Eau Rose

I am happy to have used up a few more samples as well, even though I didn't really care for the dr. dennis gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad. It was too small for body, and the color was a bit orange, though the sample may have been old. I have a few more, so I'll be testing those for sure. I did like the scent of the Life NK Ultimate Unwind Body Wash, but the lotion was pretty average. Space NK says this range is "Based on a formula of hydrating glycerine with lime, green tea, cardamom and ginger."

What products have you finished this month? Please share in the comments below! :)

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June Empties & #JuneSampleMonth Fail

by Joyce in

I was pretty surprised this past month at the number of full size products that I finished. Not bad at all, considering that I went into the month thinking about getting through samples, which I really didn't make much progress on at all! 

Clockwise from lef: Dove Creme Mousse Deep Moisture Body Wash, Origins Zero Oil Cleanser, Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo, Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water, Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner*, Origins A Perfect World SPF 25

Clockwise from lef: Dove Creme Mousse Deep Moisture Body Wash, Origins Zero Oil Cleanser, Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo, Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water, Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner*, Origins A Perfect World SPF 25

Of the items I finished, I know I will be repurchasing the Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water (review), a long time favorite. My fiance really liked the Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo and the Origins Zero Oil Cleanser (review), and I may purchase the cleanser again once I've used up some cleansers in my stash.

I have another tube of the Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Moisturizer, a moisturizer that he has been using and loving, though I'm not certain we would repurchase again once we finish that one. We've gotten tired of the Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner (review) scent, and since I love the concept, I am definitely eyeing their other varieties that were recently released. 

I was quite surprised at how quickly we used up the Dove Creme Mousse Deep Moisture Body Wash (review), but I think everyone was a fan. I definitely think this affordable body wash is worth repurchasing, and will definitely buy it again when winter hits or I need more body wash.

On the other hand, I did a terrible job when it comes to #JuneSampleMonth. I won't make excuses but the other ladies participating sure did a better job than I did! Check out their posts here: Gummy Vision, Jules Darling. Anyways, here are the samples that I finished. 


I can't believe I only finished FOUR measly samples! And actually, my fiance used two of them, so I hardly used up anything! I did start a number of others, though I gave up on a few that I can't even find and are still working on a few others... I will definitely have to revisit this again soon. Maybe July...? 

At any rate, of the two samples I tried, I liked the texture of the Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub. Every time I try something from this line, I'm quite impressed by the quality for the price, though at this point I have no need for any more scrubs!  Yes, the line is for men, but who really cares? There seem to be some gems in that brand's lineup. :)

The other sample I used was the Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm, which I've sampled before and have a small tub from a kit that I purchased in the winter. I think this stuff is quite nice, though I'm not sure how well it would work for those with oily skin types. I find that my skin just feels smooth and looks clear and even after I use it. It has a creamy mud sort of texture, and definitely needs a cloth to remove if you don't want any oily residue. 

All in all, I'm pretty happy with my empties but horrified at my pathetic attempt to use up some samples. Oh, I definitely tossed some that were hanging around that I knew were old while cleaning house, but I clearly did not try as hard this time around as I did last October! 

What did you use up in June? Have you tried any of these products? Did you manage to get through any samples this past month? I'd love to know! 

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April & May Empties

by Joyce in

I haven't made a ton of progress when it comes to empties this past month, but I thought I would share anyway. :) 

I really loved using the Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic Mask, which I just recently posted about here, and I would definitely repurchase it in the future. I'm sure you all remember my love for everything African Botanics, so finishing this bottle of their Pure Marula Oil (review) was definitely a sad day. I plan to purchase the Neroli version in the future, once I've used up more skincare. 

I liked the Rituals Zensation Organic Rice Milk & Cherry Blossom Shower Gel, and my fiance really liked it as well. It is foaming, and suds up well and isn't drying, but I think I will stick to shower gels that are less expensive for now. I find that the Philip B Peppermint and Avocado Shampoo is a really awesome non-stripping clarifying shampoo, but for now I won't repurchase because I have quite a few shampoos. I also liked the Hourglass Film Noir Mascara, which seemed to lift my lashes and give the roots some definition too. 

Have you tried any of these products? If so, what did you think of them? What have you finished lately? I'd love to know!

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March Empties

by Joyce in

So I seem to be slowly trailing off on my empties, but I still managed to finish 3 full size products. Yay! 

I finally finished the bottle of Sponge Ladi Avokanto Oil that Gummy gifted me almost a year ago. (And I think she gifted it to me when it was only half full? Sheesh, I take my time.) One of the first oils I tried last year, I quite liked it in the beginning! This past winter though, I found it did not sink into my skin as well as African Botanics Marula Oil or Boscia Tsubaki Oil, and as a result left my skin feeling a bit parched. As I have other oils I want to try and ones to use up, I don't plan to repurchase this. 

I also liked the Sai Sei Mineral Bath Crystals (review), which were quite nice to use. I won't be repurchasing, as the jar is a bit pricey and I want to try other, less expensive options to see how different they are! And in terms of that big jar of coconut oil, I definitely plan to get another! 

On the sample front, there were a number of them that I liked. Most surprisingly, I loved the Korres Fig Showergel, a deluxe sample that I've had around for ages and ages. I also LOVE the scent of the Aesop Moroccan Neroli Aftershave. I'm contemplating picking up Bumble & Bumble Surf Shampoo and Jack Black Turbo Wash at some point in the future once as well. 

All in all, I still think this was an OK month for empties, don't you? What have you finished this month? Did you repurchase anything? I'd love to know! :)

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February Empties!

by Joyce in

I'm hoping to keep the streak going and finish more stuff every month this year! (See January's empties post here, in case you missed it!) 

*PR Sample

This month, I got through a lot of deluxe samples - I liked the Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil, but I prefer Tatcha's by a hair. The Josie Maran Argan Oil was just ok, and while I liked Living Proof Full Shampoo, it didn't wow me. I used up another Lush Ceridwen's Cauldron Bath Melt* and really revived my love for the volumizing Lush Roots Hair Treatment*. Aveda Stress Fix Body Lotion had a nice and calming scent, and while I always like Philosophy shower gels, I don't plan to purchase these.

I prefer Shiseido over the Koh Gen Do Pure Cottons as they are much cushier, and while I enjoyed my little sample of Chantecaille Vital Essence, I'm too scared to think about the price and buying a full size one! I have the same thoughts towards my samples of Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Treatment and Omorovicza Gentle Buffing Cleanser - quite nice, but not for me to purchase until I use up more! Oh, the little jar of Sai Sei body wash was nice too - I loved how it didn't leave any lingering scents and made me really just smell like me. 

Oh, and as I was using the Eve Lom Cleanser sample, I was shocked to note that this seriously pricey cleanser has mineral oil, lanolin, and parabens. That seems like a whole lot of potentially unfriendly ingredients for a cleanser that retails at $50 for 1.7oz! 

I finally made it through the last bits of my much loved Diptyque Rose Duet candle, and I'm thrilled to be able to reuse this lovely jar somewhere around the house. My visit to NYC early in the month also gave me the chance to try some Molton Brown! I ended up using up a shampoo as well as the Ylang Ylang body wash and body lotion. I loved some of their other scents I've encountered, so I may look into those sometime. I also tried a sample of Aesop Fabulous Face Cleanser, which is a nice gel cleanser that gets your face feeling clean but not at all stripped or dry. 

And last but not least, I ended up clearing out a few items I had just let get too too old. Sad. Nothing much to say about them except why why why did I let my tub of Lush Ocean Salt* get water in it and get all weird? I definitely need more of that! 

All in all, I'd say this was a pretty successful month of empties! What do you think? What have you been finishing this month? I'd love to know!

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Last Empties of 2013! November & December

by Joyce in

I didn't end up finishing as much as I was hoping at the end of 2013, but I thought I ought to share anyway. After all, the whole purpose of me posting about them was to keep track of what I was using up! 

*PR Sample

First, I'll start off with the items I don't have in the picture! 

Lush Holiday Bath Bombs: Bombardino, Shoot for the Stars & Luxury Lush Pud* 
My favorite of the 3 was Shoot for the Stars, but check out my original post here. Lush holiday items are always fun, and I definitely look forward to what's in store next year! 

Lush Ceridwen's Cauldron Bath Melt
I quite liked this cute reusable bath melt that softened my skin. Check out my original post here

Osmia Organics Organic Tea Bath* 
I always wanted to try a tea themed product for the bath, and this was a great start! Check out my review here.

Neom Luxury Organics Travel Candle in Sumptuous
I quite enjoyed trying this light floral orange blossom candle. Neom candles burn well and have a great scent to them, so I'm quite pleased with my introduction to the line! I would definitely purchase other scents once I use up the pile of candles I have. :)


Now onto the items in the photo above! 

Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil*
I'm totally in love with this stuff. Maybe you've heard me talk about it. ;) This is just perfect for my dehydrated skin - check out my original review here. I've totally bought another sample size AND a full size. :)

Beautannia Columbia Road Candle* 
I really enjoyed this Beautannia candle and am this close to hitting checkout on a sampler set of Beautannia candles. Check out my original review here

Lush Fair Trade Honey Shampoo* 
I quite enjoyed using up this shampoo, but was totally sad when I dropped the bottle and broke the bottom! Of the Lush shampoos I've tried so far, this one is my favorite for my fine hair. Will definitely consider repurchasing once I use up my shampoo stash. (Yes, shampoo stash. How did this happen??) 

Chantecaille Flower Infused Cleansing Milk (deluxe sample)
I quite liked using this sample but I don't think I would ever shell out $64 for it. I loved the creamy texture, which wasn't stripping on my dehydrated skin and kept my skin feeling soothed. This sample only lasted about two weeks, so I can't say if it made measurable improvements on my skin and I definitely can't bring myself to shell out the big bucks on a cleanser! 

Life NK Mighty Mitts Hand Cream (deluxe sample) 
I quite enjoyed this hand cream sample and loved the light fresh scent. I think it is the perfect hand cream for spring and summer! Check out my original post here. I would consider repurchasing this but can't seem to find it on Space NK's US site?? 

There was nothing of note in the pile of miscellaneous samples I tried, though I did use up a sample pot of Armani Luminous Silk that I had laying around. I had to toss a dried out bottle of Seche Vite - seriously, I think I bought this in 2007 and I don't even care that it is dead now lol. I also had to toss the mini Benefit Watt's Up because the product fell out of the tube onto the floor. GROSS! 

All in all, I didn't do so great on this round of empties. But I felt just a tiny bit better when I counted up my empties from the year. This is what I finished! 

  • Full Size - 30 (lots of bath bombs though, so maybe that doesn’t count)
  • Travel Size -17
  • Deluxe Sample - 21
  • Sample Packets - 55

So, how did you do with using up products in 2013? Did you find yourself using up a lot of products in November and December, or were you like me?? Hehe, I'd love to know! 

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2013 Empties #6: October

by Joyce in

This past month, even though I was trying to get through samples, I also wanted to try and finish up those almost empty products before I returned home to Chicago. 

Including the samples, (check this post) I'd say I did an OK job. Read on to see what I thought, and what made it onto the repurchase list! 


Lush It's Raining Men Shower Gel* 
I enjoyed this honey-floral shower gel, and you can check out the full review here. It is definitely more moisturizing than some other shower gels, but I have too many shower things right now to run out and buy this one. 

Noble Isle Willow Song Shower Gel (GWP)
Love this. The scent is so delicate and pretty. I want to buy it but this is a bit pricier than I'd like, and as previously mentioned, I have too many shower things right now!

Skinfood Avocado Rich Essence Mask
I enjoyed this sheet mask, which felt light and hydrating at the same time. I would definitely purchase this again in the future, and I'm curious to try some of their other sheet masks.

Skinfood Honey Jasmine Bath Salts
These smelled SO good, and I managed to get two baths out of it. Maybe I'm stingy and they should be a one time use thing. I'm not sure they added any benefit besides smelling good, but they're inexpensive enough that I'll definitely pick these up again.

Bath & Body Works Autumn Day Candle
This mini candle was a fall scent with a bit of apple sweetness. The scent was a bit too artificial for my liking, and this mini candle didn't really disperse scent anyway. I think I'll stick to the selection at Anthropologie for my not so horrifyingly expensive candle choices. 

Origins Ginzing Moisturizer
I liked this moisturizer initially, but in the end it just isn't right for my dehydrated skin type. I imagine it would be great for oily/combination skin types or those in humid climates. Read the full review here

Lush Veganese Conditioner
I don't know why it took me... a YEAR (!!) to use this conditioner, but I quite liked it. It has a nice scent and worked well too. I don't condition much though, and I still have a handful of conditioners to use up. I would definitely consider purchasing this in the future. Read the original review here.

Aritzia Rose Candle  (GWP)
I really enjoyed this rose scented candle that a received as a gift with purchase at Aritzia in May. I assumed this isn't something that's for sale, but the Aritzia site says call customer service or visit a store. Hmm, very interesting! I didn't consider the idea of repurchasing this, but now I think I might! (Also, I had thought that Royal Apothic English Rose would be similar.)


 Lush Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb*  (not shown)
This was such a fun bath bomb, and I definitely enjoyed using it. Not sure where it falls on the to purchase list though. Check out the review here.

Lush Pumkin Bubble Bar* (not shown)
I can't handle how cute this bubble bar is, and I have to say that the bubble bar and the bubbles it produced lasted FOREVER. I would totally purchase this again! Check out the review here.

Lush Enchanter Bath Bomb* (not shown)
This pink and orange citrus bath bomb is one of my absolute favorites. I would buy this over and over again. Check out my original review here.

Ole Henriksen On the Go Cleanser 
I have to say, this bottle of cleanser lasted forever. They've been repackaged (smaller!) and this creamy gel cleanser was a favorite of mine last year. In the last few months when my skin was super dehydrated and a bit wacky, it wasn't quite right for me, but all in all, I'd say this is a great cleanser. Read the review here.

Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve 
I love this moisturizing hand cream and will definitely repurchase this in the future. Sadly, I have some other hand creams to use up first! 

Finishing things makes me happy. :) Have you tried any of these products? What did you use up in October? 

Products marked with a * were provided for review.  

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2013 Empties: #5 August & September

by Joyce in

Can you believe it is October already? I sure can't! I had hoped to have more empties to show you today, but I suppose some empties are better than no empties. :) It sure feels good to toss out all that empty packaging! 


I will definitely be repurchasing the Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo and Lush bath bombs. They are staples that I'll be sure to use for ages! The other highlights that I'm likely to purchase are Elemental Herbology Detox Bath Oil, Living Proof Thickening Cream, and a serum or oil from Jack Black's skincare range. 

candle empties

Do take a peek at the video below to hear more about this round empties. I'd love to know what you think about these products, so please leave a comment below! 

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2013 Empties: #4 The Sample Edition

by Joyce in ,

These last 2 weeks, I've been on a desperate attempt to finish up some samples. Even though my fiance helped, I think I did well!  


Kate Somerville Quench Oil-Free Hydrating Serum (not pictured)
This was actually quite nice - light, and cooling on the skin. (Though I'm not sure that it is meant to be cooling, it may just be from cold AC, lol!) It absorbed quickly, and felt properly moisturizing. Yay!
Purchase?: Maybe. I'd love to finish up some stuff first before I purchase more skincare. At $65 for 1oz, it is a bit more than I'd want to spend!

Darphin Aromatic Renewing Balm
I was drawn to this stuff because it is lemon scented, and you know how much I love lemon and other citrus scents!  This neat balm was quite soothing on my skin, and really helped to keep my skin calm, hydrated, and dare I say radiant? I only had a small chunk of product in this container, and it lasted forever. Months, really, and I used it every few days. 
Purchase?: Maybe. I've been considering putting my $10 of Space NK points towards this, but it is also pricy at a whopping $70!

Sisley Emulsion Ecologique
I had this sample packet laying around and I smushed it on when I was having a particularly dry day. It was nice and did the job, but I don't even want to to think about how much it is. Plus it wasn't miraculous, so I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist. 
Purchase?: No! Ignoring the fact that this even exists, lol. 

ReVive Intensite Moisture Serum
This serum was SO nice. It was light, and absorbed nicely, and helped keep my skin really hydrated.
Purchase?: Maybe. I would love to, but sadly it is $395. Groan

Jack Black EpicMoisture MP10 Nourishing Oil
I really liked this oil. It absorbed quickly, and felt super hydrated. I'm glad to have tried it!
Purchase?: Yes! I was surprised to find that it is not too pricey! It is totally on my list. 

Pangea Organics Nigerian Ginger with Lavender & Thyme Facial Cream
This cream was decently hydrating, but left a strange not quite tacky feeling on my face. I also don't like lavender scents on my face at all, so this just isn't for me. I do like the idea behind the brand, and would like to look at more of their line. 
Purchase?: No. 

Origins GinZing Moisturizer
I think I received this sample when I bought this moisturizer - how funny! Anyway, I liked the orange scent and light texture of this cream, and it seemed to provide an appropriate amount of moisture. I'll be sure to review it soon!

Aesop Moroccan Neroli Post-Shave Lotion  
My fiance used this one after shaving one day, and was alarmed to find that it didn't absorb in right away. After a few minutes though, it totally absorbed in and did the job. I don't know if it is a miraculous product, but I have another sample packet that maybe I will try on part of my leg or something! Also, I vaguely hoped it would smell like Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, and it was more herbal/spicy. 
Purchase?: Not sure. Needs more investigation!


Boscia White Mask
This white mask reminded me a bit of glue, which was a bit alarming at first as I didn't expect it. It also didn't peel off like I expected, but it left my complexion looking even, clear, and even a bit glowy! 
Purchase?: Maybe. I'd like to look at all of Boscia's available masks!

Lancome Milky Cream Face Cleanser
I'm a bit of a cheat on this one, as I didn't completely use it up, but it was an average non-drying cleanser that I didn't love or hate. Maybe I should've given it more of a chance, but I didn't love the slightly chemical scent. 
Purchase?: No. I have cleansers I love, so I'll pass on this. 

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque  
I used a sample of this a few weeks ago, and I was on the fence. The more I use this, the more I think that this mask really does keep your skin clear. I definitely want to try it now! 
Purchase?: Yes. It is on my list now, along with the Parsley Seed Serum!

Glam Glow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment
I was a bit frightened to try this, as it seemed so intense, but it was a decent mud mask. I think we made a bit of a mess, but the mask was fun to try and not horribly drying or anything. 
Purchase?: Probably not. I don't need more clay type masks at the moment!

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Masque
My fiance tried this one, and I have no memory of how he liked it. I know he had no objections, and liked the cooling texture, but I don't know what else!
Probably not. I have too many masks now, haha!

Korres White Tea Cleanser
This smelled nice - light and fruity. It wasn't too drying for a gel cleanser, and it was just fine on my skin. 
No. It wasn't bad, but I prefer the cleansers I have. 

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloth
This cleansing cloth was quite nice - fresh scent, no residue, and not drying! All the things I look for in a pinch. I'm bummed that Sephora no longer carries the brand and it totally fell off my radar. 
Purchase?: Yes. It is on my list! 


Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri
When I sniffed this at the store, it was a delightful concoction of orange and floral. Once I worked through this sample, I knew the scent wasn't one for me, but I still found it to be a neat scent. 
Purchase?: No. Not in love with them, so I gotta save my dollars!

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
This is gorgeous, and I gladly used up the sample. Light and fresh, this is such a perfect summer scent for those who don't want too much floral or fruit but still like a hint of it in their fragrances.
Purchase?: No. I have Diptyque L'Eau de Neroli, which is also in the same family, and I'm loving my new perfume purchase!


As I was cleaning up my collection, I found these things that were quite ready to be tossed. Mysterious perfume samples that aren't too thrilling and also probably at least 5 years old, a sad broken Chanel Aqua Crayon in Velveteen that had its fair share of fun back in the day, and a sample of 3Lab The Cream that my fiance managed to use and then leave in a drawer that he found to be quite mediocre.  

So there you have it! What do you think of all the samples I got through?? Have you tried and loved any of these products? 


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