Empties: Winter 2013

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
This is technically my first empties post of 2014, which I actually should've put up at the end of March, but whatever, I'm only a couple days late. And, no, the title to this post is not a mistake; this post is for winter, not spring, even though it feels like it's still winter. (It's actually only been spring officially for two weeks!) Last January, when I did my first empties post of 2013, I decided to do these once every season rather than once a month, to kind of keep track of how many products I use up, and also to provide mini reviews of products. I'm going to continue this "once a season" schedule with empties posts for 2014, as I think it provides enough time for me to finish up products. This post is, as per usual, dedicated to the original Beauty Reductionista, who inspired me to start the empties project to begin with. Without further ado, here is my empties tally, collected from January 1 to March 31, 2014:

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Facial Cleansing Gel & Eye Makeup Remover (225 ml) — My holy grail make-up removing cleanser.
Re-purchase? Yes.
The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner (200 ml) — A no-frills toner that's good for even the most sensitive skin. Just leaves skin feeling refreshed and clean without feeling stripped.
Re-purchase? Yes, when it's on sale.
Origins Modern Friction Nature's Gentle Dermabrasion (125 ml) — My holy grail face exfoliator.
Re-purchase? Yes.
MAC Gently Off Eye and Lip Makeup Remover (100 ml) — An excellent dual eye make-up remover that takes off the most stubborn mascara or lipstick. I find this one comparable to many of the high-end eye make-up removers out there.
Re-purchase? Yes.
MAC Wipes (100 sheets) — My holy grail make-up removing wipe. Still the best in the industry, in my opinion. And one of the cheapest options when you calculate cost per sheet. These are a staple in my house.
Re-purchase? Yes.
MAC Lightful Marine-Bright Formula Cleanser (100 ml) — MAC says this cleanser "actively cleanses, rebalances, refreshes, hydrates and brightens the skin." I don't believe this has any long-term benefits since you rinse it off almost right away, but it has the most perfect texture: creamy, whipped, foaming, like a really thick mousse. It smells good, makes my skin feel soft and not stripped or dry at all. It doesn't take off make-up very well, but I use it in the morning and after removing make-up. I just love the feel of this stuff.
Re-purchase? Yes.
MAC Lightful Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion (150 ml) — This softening lotion (used in the place of toner) is meant to "condition the skin for a smoother, more radiant look and feel." It makes my skin feel softer, smoother, and more hydrated without leaving a film. And it smells good.
Re-purchase? Yes.
MAC Lightful Marine-Bright Formula Essence (30 ml) — The Lightful line of skincare is probably MAC's most underrated products. I've been using the serum for ages, and it's amazing for evening out skintone and adding brightness to the skin. It doesn't necessarily fade dark spots, but it does help a lot with discolouration. It's lightweight and absorbs instantly and smells good, too. Love.
Re-purchase? Yes.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex (50 ml) — As much skincare as I buy and use, I credit this serum as single-handedly fixing all my skin problems. I thought it was just for old people with wrinkles and dry skin (the opposite of what I have), so I was totally wary of using it... but within a week, my skin was clearer, smoother, more radiant, more hydrated. It makes pimples heal and scars fade faster. My skin's texture has never been better. Seriously a skin saver, if there ever was one. This formula was discontinued, but I managed to get another one of these at the warehouse sale last December for $55.
Re-purchase? Yes, but in the new formulation as this one was discontinued. 
Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum (30 ml) — One of the best hydration serums I've ever used. Super-lightweight, absorbs almost instantly, leaves my skin feeling truly hydrated and soft. Such a great addition to my skincare routine this past winter. This is so hydrating, in fact, that I can use it without an extra moisturizer on top and my skin still feels quenched.
Re-purchase? Yes.

Herbal Essences Shine Collection Conditioner (400 ml) — Nice, but I don't find it quite as effective as a conditioner as the Smooth Collection conditioner overall. Still a good conditioner in the sense that it made my hair feel soft and detangled without adding residue or build-up. But I also prefer the scent of the other one more, too.
Re-purchase? Maybe, if it's on sale.
Herbal Essences Smooth Collection Conditioner (400 ml) — I love everything about this and the shampoo, too. You know those commercials where the woman is just basking in the delight of washing her hair? That's basically me when I use this. I would buy it for the scent alone, but it actually leaves my hair feeling soft and smooth without any film, residue, or build-up, and yes, the scent lingers, too. Extreme love.
Re-purchase? Yes.
The Body Shop Banana Shampoo (250 ml each) — A gentle shampoo that smells like banana popsicles. But nothing special otherwise. Just bought it out of nostalgia, but I don't love it.
Re-purchase? No.
MoroccanOil Treatment (100 ml) — It's a cult-status product for a reason. I smooth a very small amount of this in my hair after I straighten it. Leaves my hair so smooth, so shiny, and smelling positively delightful. And one bottle has lasted me nearly two years.
Re-purchase? Yes.

The Body Shop Body Butter in White Musk and Blueberry (200 ml x 2) — These have been my go-to body moisturizers in the past few months. My skin's incredibly dry and is prone to eczema and itchiness, and these are truly amazing at keeping my skin well-moisturized. These particular ones are formulated for dry skin, which is why I chose them to begin with. In colder months, I prefer heavier, almost greasy body creams, so these are ideal for me. I like both of these scents, but there are other ones I prefer.
Re-purchase? Yes, when they're on sale.
The Body Shop Body Butter in Satsuma (400 ml) — As I've mentioned, I love The Body Shop's Body Butters in general, but the Satsuma scent is one of my favourites which is why I bought the jumbo size of this. But I got really sick of the scent about halfway through the tub and it started feeling like a chore to get through the other half. It has a very, very strong smell and lingers on everything (clothes, sheets), too.
Re-purchase? Maybe, but only in the regular size.
The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Scrub (200 ml) — Smells like waffles and makes my skin feel baby soft.
Re-purchase? Yes, when it's on sale.
Lush Karma Kream (225 g) — Nice formulation and texture and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth, but dear god, the smell is so strong that you literally smell like a Lush store for hours and hours and hours. I got this as a gift, but I wouldn't buy this for myself because the scent isn't really my cup of tea.
Re-purchase? No.

Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens (100 sheets) — My go-to blotting sheets.
Re-purchase? Yes.
MAC Fix+ (100 ml) — The original make-up setting spray. Makes make-up look smoother, less powdery, less "make-uppy." You don't know the difference it makes until you use it. I spray it on mid-day to freshen up my make-up, too. I always keep a full-size one in my bathroom and a travel-size one in my purse.
Re-purchase? Yes, I always have a back-up.
Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara (6.5 ml) — Didn't like the brush or the effect that it gave my lashes. Doesn't build well at all, so while I like some clump to my mascara, this one was just clumpy in the most unflattering way. Literally made my lashes look like spider legs. So scary. Then again, dolls scare me, too. So... not sure why I bought this. And it smudges under my eyes, too.
Re-purchase? No.
MAC Extended Play Lash Mascara (5.6 g) — Because this is a fibre mascara, it's excellent for holding curl and adding extreme length, but not so much volume. So it's not really my cup of tea, but this is great for shorter lashes.
Re-purchase? No. 
MAC Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash Mascara (9 g x 2) — My go-to mascara. Another staple.
Re-purchase? Yes, I always have two back-ups. 
MAC Liquid Eye Liner — Boot Black (2.5 ml) — I use this everyday; it has a precise felt-tip applicator and is a true carbon black with a matte finish. Another staple product.
Re-purchase? Yes, I always have a back-up.
MAC Eyebrows — Lingering (0.09 g x 2) — My go-to eyebrow pencil. A staple.
Re-purchase? Yes, I always have three back-ups. 
MAC Eyeshadow Pro Palette Refill Pan — Honey Lust (9 g x 2) — I finished another eyeshadow! Honey Lust has kind of replaced All That Glitters for me recently. A little bronzier, a little darker, and a little more sparkly, but it's been my go-to lid colour.
Re-purchase? Yes.
MAC Mineralize Concealer — NW25 (5 ml x 2) — I use this mostly for evening out any redness on my cheeks, but occasionally under my eyes if I'm looking particularly tired. It has medium buildable coverage and a natural luminous finish, so it's ideal for people who want to even out skintone but not full or heavy coverage. It's hydrating and super-blendable, and doesn't cake or build-up in fine lines so it's ideal for layering. Love this stuff.
Re-purchase? Yes. 
MAC Studio Fix Powder+ Foundation — NC35 (15 g x 2) — My go-to foundation. It's been a staple product for me for years. I'll try other foundations and always come back to this one because it feels weightless, is super buildable (to full coverage), has a matte finish, is super fast to put on, and is really low maintenance. And I've since learned that I prefer powder foundations over liquids or creams. I usually use this on its own with a flat-top buffing brush, but I sometimes layer it on top of MAC's Mineralize Concealer if I want a bit more coverage.
Re-purchase? Yes, I always have a back-up.


Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Hand Soap — Eucalyptus Spearmint (236 ml) — I have developed an allergic reaction to Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Soaps, so this is one of the few from them that I can actually use now. Love the scent; smells clean, fresh, and unisex.
Re-purchase? Yes. 
Method Foaming Hand Wash — Daffodil Bouquet (300 ml) — My go-to liquid hand soap, because it's not as harsh as Bath & Body Works' hand soaps, which dry out my hands too much during colder months. I love, love, love this scent, but it was limited edition so I can't get it anymore.
Re-purchase? No, it's been discontinued.
Method Orla Kiely Hand Wash — Cloudburst (354 ml) — I prefer the foaming version of Method's hand soaps to these ones, but this one was a really nice scent. Clean, like laundry detergent.
Re-purchase? No, it's been discontinued. 
Equate Scented Baby Wipes (100 wipes) — I mostly use baby wipes to clean off swatches and sometimes my skin if I just need a refresh. I don't love these ones, though; they're not the softest and the pack dries up about halfway through.
Re-purchase? No.
Up & Up Acetone Nail Polish Remover (473 ml) — A staple product to take off glitter polishes.
Re-purchase? Yes, I always have a back-up.
Shiseido Facial Cotton (80 g x 2) — Staple product.
Re-purchase? Yes, I always have two back-ups.
Slatkin & Co. 3-Wick Scented Candle — Sparkling Icicles (411 g) — Um, it took me two years to finish this. But I love the scent of this one. It's described as "a sparkling blend of citrus bouquet, bergamot and a touch of holiday moss." A nice crisp, bright scent that's quite unisex; a nice option in the winter when you don't want spicy, woodsy scents.
Re-purchase? Yes.
Fresh Sugar Lychee Eau de Parfum (100 ml and 30 ml) — My signature perfume. I go through about four full-size bottles a year.
Re-purchase? Yes, I always have a bottle with me.
Glysomed Hand Cream (50 ml) — A staple for my eczema-prone hands. It's thick and kind of greasy so I only apply it before I go to sleep, but it repairs dry skin like nothing else I've tried.
Re-purchase? Yes, I just got two super-size tubes from Costco.

Total: 43 products (42 full size, 1 jumbo size)

How are your empties going?
14 comments on "Empties: Winter 2013"
  1. yes the costco sized glysomeds are where its at lol. ive never tried any of the mac skincare stuff but the look interesting
    A Beautiful Zen

    1. RIGHT? It's ridiculous that the small tubes of Glysomed are $5 a pop, but two tubes of the ULTRA-JUMBO size ones at Costco are like, $14. God, I love Costco.

      MAC's skincare isn't very advertised and no one really talks about it because MAC's generally known for make-up, but their Lightful line is truly beautiful and completely underrated. :)

  2. I need to try the EL ANR finally. I think the next time I go to my friendly Shiseido SA, I'm going to focus on skincare - Shiseido and EL! Oh god, my wallet.

    1. ANR is my skincare savour. No matter how many serums I try, I always go back to it.

      Shiseido's skincare is also quite lovely. I'm rather interested in the Ibuki line! :) Methinks I will pick some stuff up from Duty Free when I go to NYC in June. Too expensive to buy at retail price, lol. Same with ANR, come to think of it... (It's $103 here!!!)


    Glad you like the aloe toner - it's so boring but just nice and does what it's supposed to do. I've been cheating on it lately though. LUSH Eau Roma to be exact.

    Today my friend and I went shopping and she picked up a Studio Fix powder and Mineralize concealer. I kept saying, "MY FRIEND DENISE LIKES..." LOL

    1. LMAO!!! Your friend has GOOD TASTE. ;) Mineralize Concealer + Studio Fix Powder is my go-to combination for amazing coverage that doesn't look heavy or cakey. Hope your friend loves 'em! :) Did you get any samples while you were there?

      I quite like the aloe toner, and for the price, I'd definitely be inclined to buy more. I switch up my toners all the time, though. I usually always use the MAC Lightful Softening Lotion in the day and a different one at night -- I'm currently using the Michael Todd Organics one. The smell is horrendous so I'm trying to get through it as fast as possible. :P My friend from Lush actually gave me a little bottle of Eau Roma! I haven't tried it yet, but I will get to it soon. How are you liking it?

    2. No samples but my nose was right up against the Proenza collection display, LOL! What's the delay there?

      Eau Roma Water might be even more soothing than the aloe! I love the fine mist from the bottle and will be recycling that for sure. All winter I've been spritzing my face generously with it and then applying oils, serums or moisturizers right on top while face is still damp. Feels sooooooo good.

    3. LOL! How'd you see the Proenza display already? The original launch date was actually April 3; I'm not sure what the actual reason for the postponing is, but I think it's because MAC wanted to spread out their LE collections more, so it's been pushed back to April 24 because there wasn't a scheduled launch for that week. I need every single thing from that collection. :P

      Ooh, I really should give the Eau Roma Water a try! Sounds DELIGHTFUL.

    4. The MACs at Queen St. Bay had the displays up already and got word last minute that they're delaying it. I guess they're keeping it up to save time or drive curiosity. I'm not as keen on the packaging as I thought I'd be, and the ombres aren't as pretty as they are in round pans. LOL

    5. Lol, don't know how they didn't know until "last minute" as head office tends to let all locations know about postponements at least two weeks in advance...

      I actually love the packaging. It's kinda tacky but in a pretty way, lol. And I agree, the ombres would've been nicer in round compacts... but they are still GORGEOUS. Can't wait to get them!

  4. Funny, you like the Herbal Essences Smooth Collection scent more and I prefer the Shine Collection scent! I think it's because when Herbal Essences first discontinued this range, after I'd finished bawling, I discovered the pink colour treatment line smelled similar-ish to the original. So I kept buying that. The Smooth Collection smells closer to the pink colour treatment one, where to me, the Shine Collection smells most like the original. I hope they never discontinue it again!

    I may have to give the EL serum another chance. I seem to recall telling you I didn't like the smell much. I got my first bottle at Century 21, so maybe it was nearing the end of its shelf life? It didn't do much for me, but then again, not much skincare does!

    Last thing - I really like the packaging colours of the MAC Extended Play Lash!

    1. Haha, conclusion: The old Herbal Essences formulas are WAY BETTER.

      I think you have to have a more problematic skin to see a serum working. If you already have decent skin to begin with, it's true, you won't really notice anything, lol. But ANR does have a scent that's not for everyone. It's quite herbal/medicinal. So it's possible that your bottle was good, but you just didn't like the smell!

      I've always found it weird that MAC made the colours of the Extended Play Lash tube so different from the rest of the MAC mascaras! I love the colours they chose for it, though. :) And it's a great formula for short, straight lashes!

    2. I have extremely problematic skin, so maybe that's the reason it didn't work? I'm beyond the help of a serum? I'll give it another try one day. If it works, the smell is a negligible factor!

    3. What's your skin like? In general, I find ANR to be quite the miracle worker. They did re-formulate, so maybe the new formula will work better for you? Get a sample of it!


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