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Empties – December 2016: My Final Thoughts on Stuff I’ve Finished

Something I’ve been meaning to do ever since starting this blog is give my final thoughts about products once I finish using them up.  I started the blog in May 2016, and I’ve been saving my empties ever since.  Originally, I planned to do this every few months, but I’ve been procrastinating…so this is going to be a long post.  Like almost 8 months worth of empties long.  I fully plan to do this more frequently in the future.

In my posts about empties, I cover the products I’ve reviewed but I will also sometimes include something where I had a deluxe sample, or something I was able to try but not for long enough to feel like I can write a full review.  I will also give a final decision on whether I would repurchase it or not.  I’m constantly looking for a newer and better thing to use.  So if I am willing to repurchase something, it’s generally quite good.

Without further ado…here are my final thoughts about all the products I’ve emptied between May and December 2016.

Cleansers/Makeup Removers

empties december 2016 cleansersSimple Skincare Foaming Cleanser: This is a good, basic, inexpensive cleanser available at most drugstores.  It’s effective and non-irritating.  Would I repurchase? Yes.  It’s a good option if you’re in a pinch since it’s cheap and widely available.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser: This is one of my go-to cleansers that I pick up if I don’t know what else to get.  It never irritates my skin and removes makeup really well.  Better than most. It’s also pretty reasonably priced (as far as specialty and department store cleansers go).  Would I repurchase? Yes.  I’ve repurchased several times in the past, and I’m sure I will repurchase again.

Graydon Clinical Luxury Super Sensitive Face Foam Cleanser: I bought this one for my husband, so I only tested a handful of times.  I found it to be a little disappointing.  I had to cleanse my face 3 times to get all my makeup off.  He liked it though, so I guess it’s better for morning or people who don’t wear makeup.  Would I repurchase? No.

One Love Organics Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser: A lovely natural, organic gel cleanser.  I liked it, and it’s pretty reasonably priced.  Would I repurchase? Yes.

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser: A creamy face cleanser with very little foaming action.  This was pretty effective, but it started to break me out a bit after prolonged use.  Would I repurchase? No.

Consonant Foaming Face Wash: This natural face wash is effective at removing makeup, but I hated the smell.  I felt like I was washing my face with some sort of citrus cleaning product.  It had a very strong medicinal/chemical smell to it (even though it didn’t have synthetic fragrances in it).  Would I repurchase it? No.


empties december 2016 toners/essencesCosrx Centella Water Alcohol Free Toner:  This is a nice, basic facial mist-style toner with anti-inflammatory centella asiatica (also known as gotu kola).  The gotu kola helps with inflammation and redness, while the mineral water, vitamin b5, and hyaluronic acid all provide hydration.  The spray nozzle could be better, though.  Would I repurchase? Yes.

Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist: I liked this mist initially, since it was quite hydrating and smelled lovely.  However, it made me break out (I think it was the rose oil).  Would I repurchase? No.

Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence: One of my favourite products ever.  It brightens and promotes even skin tone, and soaks in completely and rapidly.  It just gives me a nice glow, and when I stop using it…I notice a difference.  Would I repurchase?  Absolutely, yes.  I have repurchased and I will continue to do so in the future.


empties december 2016 serums/treatments

SkinMedica Retinol 0.5: If you are looking for a super effective retinol product, this is a really good option.  It’s a bit strong for my current needs but there is no doubt that it works.  Would I repurchase? Yes.  Maybe not for a few more years, but when I start getting hardcore wrinkles, I’ll come back to this.

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum: I really liked this retinol eye serum.  It is gentle enough for frequent use, but kept my undereyes looking fresh and bright.  Would I repurchase? Yes.

One Love Organics Vitamin C Serum: I generally use vitamin C serum in the morning, so I like it to soak in quickly.  This one didn’t, it was more of a super light oil. It was a nice product, just not really the right fit for me.  Would I repurchase? No.

Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Hydration Booster:  If you are in need of immediate hydration from dryness or skin dehydration, look no further.  This product is awesome.  It’s pricey, but it works.  Would I repurchase? Yes.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask: There is a reason this mask has a cult following.  It’s because it’s fantastic.  Would I repurchase? Yes.  I have before, and I’m sure I will again.

B. Kamins Lactic-10:  Lactic acid has never been my favourite, I generally prefer glycolic acid.  However, this lactic acid exfoliant works well and also contains salicylic acid to help unclog pores.  Would I repurchase? No.  But I just bought B. Kamins Glycolic-10, so stay tuned for that review in the coming months.

Dermatologic Cosmetic Laboratories Glycolic Acid Pads 10%:  These glycolic acid pads are excellent.  There is just the right amount of solution soaking all the pads, and the 10% acid concentration at the correct pH means they are extremely effective.  Would I repurchase? Yes. Note: this product is now called G10 Radiance Peel and comes in a black container.


Darphin The Revitalizing Oilempties december 2016 moisturizers/hydrators: If you want a multipurpose oil for face, hair, body, then this is a great option.  It smells lovely, hydrates effectively, and even helps reduce frizz.  Would I repurchase? Yes.

Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Lotion: I feel like this would be good for oilier skin than mine (and I’m pretty oily).  I just didn’t feel like this was hydrating enough for me.  Glad I got it on sale, since it was a bit disappointing.  Would I repurchase? No.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47: One of the best mineral sunscreen moisturizers on the market today.  I find it a bit too dewy for summer use on my oily skin, but it’s good in the winter when I need a little more hydration.  Plus, it’s my husband’s favourite daily sunscreen.  Would I repurchase? Yes.

Drunk Elephant B Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel: This hydrating gel contains loads of ingredients that are beneficial for your skin.  I just didn’t find it to actually be all that hydrating.  It would probably be better for someone really oily who only needs light moisture.  Would I repurchase? No.

Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion: I discovered this in the summer when I needed hydration but also wanted something really light on my skin, so my pores wouldn’t end up being all clogged from heavy lotions and creams.  This was exactly what I needed.  The lotion-gel was super hydrating without pore-clogging.  Also, the price is fantastic and you get loads of product.  Would I repurchase? Yes.  This is a fantastic warm weather moisturizer.

Darphin Anti-Fatigue Smoothing Eye Gel: So this isn’t really a gel, it’s more of a gel-cream.  But it’s a nice, light eye cream for daytime.  It soaks in well and provides a smooth surface for makeup.  Would I repurchase? Yes.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter: This cream is a great option for all skin types (except those that are very dry).  It provides hydration, but is also quite light in texture and dries down to a relatively matte finish.  Note that it does not layer well with oily products though, it has a tendency to ball up if you layer with the wrong stuff.  Would I repurchase?  I’m not really sure, there are so many other great creams out there.  Honestly, I’m kind of undecided on this one.


empties december 2016 makeup

Lancome Definicils Mascara:  For a long time, this has been one of my favourite mascaras on the market.  It provides length, definition, and volume without clumping.  But I’m also trying to search for greener, cruelty free makeup options these days.  Would I repurchase?  Yes, if Lancome stops animal testing.  Otherwise, I will continue to search for other, more socially conscious, options.

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick:  I really liked this at first.  I still like the coverage and natural look of this foundation.  However, with prolonged use, it kind of clogged my pores around my chin.  Would I repurchase? No.

tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Tinted Pressed Setting Powder: The name is a total mouthful, but it’s still one of my favourite face powders.  It can be used for setting foundation, or as a light coverage powder foundation.  Would I repurchase? Yes.  I have purchased this many times.

YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara: This is one of the most expensive mascaras I have ever purchased.  And I hated it.  The brush bristles were super flimsy and didn’t give good lash combing action.  So lashes ended up clumpy if you didn’t separate them yourself.  Would I repurchase? No.

The following two lipstick empties are not shown in my photo.  I so rarely finish off a lipstick that when I do, I get overly excited and just bin it without thinking about saving the packaging for my photos.  So please accept my final thoughts sans photographic evidence of the empty packaging.

Dior Addict Lipstick in Princess (not shown): Dior Addict lipsticks are awesome, and I love them.  But I’m striving to be more socially and environmentally conscious in my beauty purchases, so probably won’t go shopping much in the Dior section of Sephora from now on.  Would I repurchase? No.  But not because the product sucks.  If Dior’s policy on animal testing changes, then I’ll reconsider though.

Guerlain Rouge Automatique Lipstick in Mitsuko (not shown): This lipstick is in the same situation as the Dior.  I like the product a lot, but currently have no plans to repurchase due to Guerlain’s animal testing policy.  So for now…Would I repurchase? No.


So there you have it.  My first round of empties!  I hope my final thoughts on these products help to guide you toward better skincare and makeup purchases!  I promise I’ll do another one before too long, so you don’t have to feel like you’re reading an epic novel just to get to the end of the post.



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