Hi friends! Happy Spring to you all. With the changing of seasons (hopefully this cold, wintery weather will leave us soon), I figured it was time for me to go through my empties again. The box has runneth over.
It’s been a long time since I made my first empties post, so you can bet I have a lot to share with you guys. Some of these are sample sizes I received in my monthly Birchbox (a pretty sweet beauty subscription service gifted by my dear sister), and many are old favorites. I broke everything into its appropriate category so you can find what you’re looking for more easily.
SEPHORA COLLECTION Supreme Cleansing Oil – 6.4 oz, $15
As far as my first experience with an oil cleanser, this one performed rather well. It removes makeup beautifully, but while it took off my eye makeup (after a bit of work), it did irritate my eyes a bit. This being said, I’ve switched back to my trusted Simple Micellar Water for the time being, but I will definitely in the market for another oil cleanser come next fall/winter.
Simple Skin Micellar Cleansing Water – 13.5 oz, $10
I won’t talk too much more about this as I already gave a review of it last time, but this is still the best micellar water I’ve tried. It’s as effective as a makeup remover, yet incredibly gentle. You really can’t beat this for the price.
The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream Cleanser – 6.7 oz, $15
This line from The Body Shop is one of my favorites. Vitamin E is a fantastic ingredient to nourish and hydrate the skin, so I’m glad I had this for the rough winter months. However, I just didn’t feel like it cleaned my skin enough. Maybe it did, but I quite honestly couldn’t tell due to the creamy texture. I found it difficult to work into my skin and know it was doing it’s job. I probably won’t repurchase this as it is a bit more pricey and I have other cheaper options available to me.
Thayer’s Rose Petal Alcohol-free Toner with Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera – 12 oz, $7
My feelings have pretty much stayed the same since I mentioned this briefly last time, but I am going to keep trying other, possibly more hydrating toners. I didn’t feel like it did anything exceptional for my skin.
LUSH Cosmetics Tea Tree Toner Water – 3.3 oz, $10.95
I really wanted this to work for me. I actually purchased this in the shop because one of the sales people recommended it for my acne-prone, combination skin, but it didn’t do anything for me. The actual spray was uneven and I found I had to spray it onto a cotton round first. I wouldn’t recommend this or repurchase it myself.
Sorry guys, I really am a sucker for these. I do need to research new facial sprays, but these are pretty affordable ($7 for 4 oz, $13 for 8 oz) and I haven’t experienced anything bad from them. I’m glad I reached for a different one this time, because I definitely liked it more than the rosewater spray. I’ve noticed that anything green is a friend to my skin.
SKINFOOD Lettuce & Cucumber Watery Essence
This was recommended to me by a friend and the ingredients seemed promising, but I ended up feeling mostly indifferent about it. This is no longer selling from the website I bought it on, but you might be able to get it on Amazon.
BalanceMe Congested Skin Serum – 0.51 oz, $23 (full size)
I had a sample size of this serum from one of my Birchbox boxes and for the short period of time I used it, I did notice that it helped keep my breakouts down. I don’t claim this to be a miracle product by any means, but I’d probably recommend it to someone with problem skin.
COSRX Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion – 3.38 oz, $20
I must admit that I’m still quite new to skin care and understanding just what my skin needs, but this product was really wonderful for light but effective hydration. It’s light enough, yet delivers a lot of moisture and it’s hard to beat the price point in my opinion.
Pacifica Cactus & Kale Oil-Free Renewal Lotion – 1.7 oz, $14
Meh. This wasn’t anything wonderful. I tend to prefer lighter moisturizers, and this one just felt heavy on my skin. You also get a very small amount of product for the price, so I won’t be repurchasing this.
Skinfood Wash Off Black Sugar Mask – 3.38 oz, $10
As someone with sensitive skin, I’ve been wary about using physical exfoliators in the past. However, this “mask” from the Korean brand Skinfood is as gentle or rough as you make it. As long as you combine it with water, I found that it didn’t aggravate my skin too much. The honey and other ingredients make for a lovely mask that feels very nourishing. For the price, I would definitely repurchase this.
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch – 24 patches for $5
I thought these might be super gimmicky, and I was surprised to find that they can be really effective. The idea is that these little medicated patches (you get one sheet with 24 patches of various sizes) help treat your pimples by absorbing the excess gunk while you sleep. Just put one of these on before you go to bed (or even during the day under makeup to protect the affected area), and it’ll take the size down dramatically. I suggest using these once the pimple is almost at a head, and then by morning it will have pulled everything to the surface for you. These are an absolute necessity for me, and I will repurchase these until I find something better.
I’m not going to go into detail about all of my sheet masks in this post, but I will tell you to stay away from the Master Lab Hyaluronic Acid Mask by TONY MOLY if you have sensitive skin like me. Unless you enjoy irritation and a burning sensation.
I buy most of my sheet masks from k-beauty site Soko Glam (where you can get 20% off your first order with my code), or Amazon. I’ll be honest with you, I still haven’t found any that I really love. If you guys have any HG sheet masks, let me know in the comments!
Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Purse Spray – 2.2 oz, $22
I’ll be honest and say that I usually don’t give much attention to my tresses, so hair products aren’t something I like to spend a lot of money on, but this spray was particularly gorgeous. It made me feel luxurious, and while I might not repurchase this, I would recommend it to someone with dry, dull hair looking for a boost. Also, the smell…the smell!
amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo – 5.3 oz, $25
I found this to perform slightly below average for my hair, and it is way too pricey so I’m just going to stick with my tried and true.
Batiste Dry Shampoo – 6.37 oz, $7.99
A classic. To be fair, I’ve not tried a lot of different dry shampoos (especially high-end options), but this one seems to be a consistent favorite of mine. My mom mentioned the other day that they should sell these in bulk at Costco and I couldn’t agree more.
Whish Botanical Primer – 2 oz, $35
This primer felt very hydrating and provided a really smooth base for my makeup to go over. I also like that this has a lot of nourishing, naturally derived ingredients.
Make Up Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer – 1 oz, $37
This lasted me a lot longer than it was supposed to because I hardly ever use primers, but I loved this so much. I suffer from very sensitive, red skin and this took down the redness significantly. The texture wasn’t bad or great, but it definitely did its job at color correcting. This primer is also available in multiple finishes and colors for practically every skin concern. I will most likely repurchase this in the near future, but I wish it wasn’t so expensive.
Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 – 1.5 oz, $39
Since switching to lighter coverage face makeup, I’ve been on the hunt for a great BB cream or tinted moisturizer, and this one from Dr Jart+ really impressed me. The color match wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t find that to be a huge issue since it was such light coverage anyway. I would recommend this, but I may not repurchase right away because it is more pricey than I’d like.
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 15 Fair – 0.23 oz, $7
While it remains one of the cheapest drugstore concealers, I think I might finally say farewell to this guy. I’ve started to notice that it actually has pretty poor coverage, and the formulation is slightly too dry (especially under the eyes). If anyone has some good lightweight but buildable coverage concealers that aren’t too drying, please recommend some! I’m in neeeeeed.
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation
I bought this beauty when I was studying abroad in London, and it is wonderful. I loved the heck out of this lightweight foundation. Unfortunately, the shade range is very limited and I believe you can only find this product in-store in Europe & Canada. If you aren’t fortunate to have this brand in your country, you can easily find it on Amazon or other online retailers. If they came out with a slightly lighter shade, I would 100% repurchase.
e.l.f. essential blush in Sweet Retreat
Okay, so I didn’t expect too much from this blush (it’s only $3), but oh my gosh, it was beautiful. It’s the perfect pink/neutral shade that goes with literally any makeup look. The only thing is that I’m pretty sure this has since been discontinued, which I am very, very upset about.
I bought this in a pinch, and thankfully it was a pretty good color match for me. It did a pretty good job making my naturally sparse, wonky brows look full without too much work. Unfortunately, I’m not sure they sell this same product at many retail locations, but there is another, similar product available at the drugstore/Ulta.
Covergirl The Super Sizer Mascara – 0.4 oz, $6.99
Overall great drugstore mascara. Probably one of the more impressive ones I’ve used in the past few months. The brush makes for a really easy, non-clumpy application.
L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara in Black – 0.28 oz, $7.99
I wasn’t as impressed with this mascara as I’d hoped I’d be for it being so many people’s holy grail drugstore mascara. I found that this flaked off on me and was very difficult to apply. I probably won’t buy this formula again.
Wet n Wild Photo Focus Natural Finish Setting Spray (similar) – 1.52 oz, $4.99
I didn’t notice much of a difference between this spray and the much more expensive UD spray, to be completely honest. It does have a strong scent (which I find actually smells a little like blueberries?), but the mist was pretty fine and worked well enough for my standards.
UD All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray – 4 oz, $32
This setting spray has always performed very well on me, but I really only find use for it during the summer or when going out with heavy makeup, which isn’t often anymore. I don’t think I will be repurchasing this. Instead, I think I might opt for another facial spray with more skin-loving ingredients.
BEAUTY BLENDER blendercleanser solid – 1 oz, $16
I originally bought this to use with my beauty blender specifically, but ended up using it for my other brushes as well. While I think it is ridiculously overpriced and gimmicky, it definitely was convenient and gentle enough on my brushes.
Earth Therapeutics Nail + Cuticle Care Nutrient Conditioner
I used this moisturizer until I could no longer physically squeeze any product out. This lotion/cuticle cream was perfect for me, as I have a bad cuticle tearing habit. Not only are the ingredients in this incredibly nourishing, but after about a week of using this, my torn up cuticles were almost entirely healed. I’m not sure where this product is sold, but you can find it on Amazon or other sites for around $10. I’ve had this same bottle for probably 2 good years (which is probably too long), so you can bet you’ll get a lot of use from it.
…And that about wraps things up! If you’re still with me, bless you.
As always, thank you for reading and make sure you give this post a kind ‘Like’ and follow to see more fashion, beauty, and lifestyle content coming your way.
Have a beautiful Thursday and I’ll see you next time!