October, November, December Empties!

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Apparently my empties posts are becoming quarterly and I’m already half a quarter behind. Oops! Sorry for the radio silence over here. The short of it is: life got crazy. But since empties posts are some of my favorites to write and your favorites to read, I couldn’t just throw away my trash without showing you! Let’s dive in.

Cleansers

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Superfacialist cleansing oil by Una Brennan – If you see this at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s (the only places I’ve ever seen it in the U.S.), snap it up! This big container was like $7. It’s an effective makeup removing cleansing oil. It has a sweet sort of candy-like citrusy scent that I enjoyed. I would buy it again if I ran across it. Value = $7

Leahlani honey love sample – It pains me to say this, but this is just too harsh for me. I LOVE the smell so much and I really wanted to make it work. I used up a full size jar a couple of years ago and felt like it was too much physical exfoliation, but the last time I ordered from Leahlani I requested a sample so I could see if my feelings had changed. Alas, they haven’t.

Votary rose, geranium, and apricot cleansing oil – This isn’t quite empty but I think it’s gone off. I’ve had it WAY longer than the supposed 6 month expiration so I guess I can’t complain. This is a beautiful, luxurious cleansing oil if you don’t mind needing to remove with a cloth. The smell was too strong for me when I was pregnant so I set this aside for a while and just didn’t get through it all before it went bad, but I would consider repurchasing when I have fewer cleansers in my stash. Value = $72

Elemis pro-collagen cleansing balm – I actually have a full size of this cleansing balm to use, but it isn’t my favorite. It stings my eyes a bit 😦 I think I’ll have to remove eye makeup separately to get through the full size but I would not repurchase.

Tatcha pure one step camellia cleansing oil – Such a nice cleansing oil! Has a light scent, rinses clean, does the job. One of these days I’ll get the full size. Value = $15

Hydration and Serums

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Paula’s Choice 10% niacinamide booster – This stuff really helps with the appearance of my pores when I use several drops and apply directly to my face, instead of mixing a few drops into something else. The downside is that I go through it quickly! Value = $44

Jordan Samuel Skin hydrate serum – My one and only hydrating serum 🙂 I repurchased immediately. Value = $72

Fresh black tea kombucha essence – I enjoyed this a lot. It has a very silky texture that feels high-end. Because this is high end! I went through it awfully fast but I would consider repurchasing. I’m trying out some other less expensive essences first. Value = $68

Moisturizers and Eye Creams

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Drunk Elephant c-tango eye cream – This had a gel type texture that felt nice on but I can’t say much else about it. Value = $21.33

Murad hydro-dynamic moisturizer – I’ve been through a full size of this in the past and remember really loving it, but I was less wowed this time around. Maybe my sample had gotten a little old? It seemed to have trouble absorbing when my skin was damp.

Tatcha the water cream – I won this bad boy in a giveaway and enjoyed it for 6 months. 🙂 I can’t say it’s anything special to warrant the price tag, but I did like it. I found that less is more with this. I think I like their silk cream better though because my skin is on the drier side. Value = $68

Belif peat eye cream – I think this is the only full sized eye cream I’ve ever gone through! It was on the thicker side, which I really liked for winter. It kept my under eyes moisturized and makeup went well on top. I can’t say it worked any miracles, but I didn’t expect it to. Value = $58

Belif the true cream moisturizing bomb – This is a great moisturizer for dry skin. It’s pretty basic so there’s not much else to say! Value = $38

Oils, Acids, & Sunscreen

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La Roche-Posay anthelios clear skin sunscreen – I liked this a lot on its own because it didn’t leave a white cast and it felt smooth and not stick on the skin, but it had a tendency to pill with certain skincare or makeup since it was oil free. I don’t think I would repurchase. Value = $19.99

Herbivore phoenix oil – I enjoyed this, and I love having the change to try with the smaller medicine dropper size. It didn’t wow me enough to purchase the full size, but I would try it again in the future when I go through other things. Value = $28

Sunday Riley good genes – This. stuff. is. life. I’m going through some samples but then I’ll repurchase the full size. It’s my favorite chemical exfoliator. Value = $105

Drunk Elephant marula oil – I’m going through another slightly larger sample of this so I’ll sort of reserve judgment until I finish that one. Stay tuned for my next empties post 😉 Value = $7.20

Sunday Riley UFO – As you can see, this is largely full. Sigh. I just don’t reach for this and I’ve had it for a long time so it’s probably bad anyway. I did find it effective when I used it, but I don’t think I need much salicylic acid in my life, and I don’t exfoliate enough to want a clarifying facial oil. I’m also using my Jordan Samuel etoile with retinol oil every other night. So for all of these reasons, its time to let this go. Value = $80

Samples and Sheet Masks

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I used up several samples as well as a sheet mask. Since my experience with most of these was pretty limited, I’ll keep things short:

Loved: Jordan Samuel Skin matinee cleanser, Fresh soy face cleanser

Liked: Clinique TTDO balm (x2), Beautycounter pure calm cleansing milk, Fresh soy cleansing milk, Knours one perfect cream

Okay: Paula’s Choice body treatment 2% AHA, Beautycounter intense moisture serum, Bliss hangover fix sheet mask*

Haircare & Nails

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Hempz sweet pineapple and honey melon shampoo – I did not care for this. The shampoo itself was only okay. The smell was awfully sweet for my taste. I didn’t find it volumizing, although I don’t necessarily need a volumizing shampoo. The packaging leaked. Meh. Value = $5

Essie polish in bahama mama – Such a classic shade! I think mine is just too old because the last time I wore it, it performed terribly. No one has time for that! Value = $9

Dove dry shampoo in volume and fullness and fresh and floral – I liked the volume and fullness one and have repurchased that one. It isn’t the best ever at absorbing oil, but it does add volume, which is nice, and does a decent job with oil. It also doesn’t leave such a strong white cast that I have to rub in compared with Batiste. The fresh and floral smelled nice but just didn’t do much. I wouldn’t repurchase that one. Value = $5.98

Ouai rose hair and body oil – This was fine, but it’s so overpriced for what it is. I truly believe it’s popular because it’s pink and Ouai is a popular brand. This mini packaging also leaked. Value = $9.06

Glisten & Glow quick drying top coat – Excellent! This is just like seche vite, but I got more use out of it before it got gloopy in comparison to seche vite. I would repurchase for sure. Value = $6.99

Body care and Hand care

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L’Occitane shea, rose, and almond hand creams – My sweet friend Kristin (@lacquerandlipstick) sent me the shea hand cream, and I picked up the rose one in the airport in Europe this summer. I was so excited to be able to get a full sized tube of the rose since you can’t buy that in the U.S. I should’ve bought two! L’Occitane hand creams are a staple, especially those minis. Value = $70 total

Lush rose jam shower gel – God, this smells amazing. I’m so glad they made it permanent instead of seasonal. I will definitely repurchase when I use up some other things. Value = $19.95

Trader Joe’s grapefruit ginger body scrub – I loved this! I doubt it’s still available because their body care tends to be limited run, but if you see it, pick it up! It smelled nice, was just the right amount of scrubby, and I loved the tube packaging. Value = $4

Aerin rose hand cream – I like the Aerin rose scented perfumes, but their rose scented body care/skincare is very powdery smelling and I don’t much care for it. This smells a lot like their rose cream cleanser, which I reviewed in my very first blog post here! I threw this away before noting how big it was so I can’t calculate the value… oops!

Beautycounter citrus mimosa hand cream – I love this scent, but this isn’t so much a hand cream as a lotion. I was hoping for a thicker texture. This would work better as a body lotion for me. My hands are constantly dry in the winter so I need more, but if you don’t need that, this would probably work well for you. I know a couple of Beautycounter reps that I can hook you up with if you need one and you’re interested 🙂 Value = $18

Korres Japanese rose body butter – I like Korres body butters a lot, but they aren’t as good as the L’Occitane ones in my mind. They have a very silky texture, which feels nice, but isn’t quite as moisturizing as those thick shea butter ones. Value = $6.59

Makeup

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BKR paris water balm – Isn’t this such a cute sample? This was in an Allure beauty box. I used it up quickly because the sample was tiny. I liked it, but it wasn’t anything special.

Sephora melting lip click in shade 04 cotton candy – An easy, every day pink lippie. There isn’t much product in here so I went through it quickly. You have to click a lot of times to get it to come up enough to use it, which was kind of annoying. I would consider repurchasing because of the reasonable price, but it isn’t a must-have. Value = $14

L’Oreal voluminous lash paradise mascara in black – This was a favorite! I’ve repurchased and surely will again. It gives good volume, a little clumpy, but not too much. Most importantly, it doesn’t budge! I have to admit I like the pink tube too 🙂 Value = $9.99

Fresh sugar lip treatment in dream – I was hoping to get a little more color from this, but there was hardly any. In that sense, you’re just as well to buy the original. But I love the feel of these sugar lip treatments. Value = $26

 

Total value for the quarter: $908.08!

Total value for all 2018 empties: $3,796.42. Yowza. Remember, this is value not necessarily what I spent, but still. It certainly puts things in perspective.

That said, I don’t think I’m going to calculate value for my 2019 empties posts unless you all protest! These posts take a lot of time to prepare and adding the value is one more step. If I was better at tracking what I actually spent on products, that would probably be more interesting to me.

*Gifted

Battle of the Rose Face Mists: Herbivore, Pixi, and Trader Joe’s

I love a good rose face mist 🙂 It seems like every brand has one these days so I thought it might be helpful to compare three in my stash from Herbivore Botanicals, Pixi Beauty, and Trader Joe’s.

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The Trader Joe’s option is clearly the best bang for your buck: $3.99 for 4 oz/118 mL! I like that this is in a plastic bottle, which is handy for travel, although too large for an airplane carry-on.

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The full ingredients are: Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Witch Hazel Leaf Water, Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Fragrance.

I like that this one includes rose flower water, rose flower oil, and witch hazel, although it does include artificial fragrance. This one smells the strongest of the three. It has a really nice, even mist that sprays enough to make you feel like something happened but not so much that it would ruin your makeup. It’s pretty hard to beat this budget option!

Next up, a new addition from Pixi Beauty: Rose Glow Mist, which retails for $15 for 2.7 oz/80 mL from Pixi or Target. So although the bottles appear to be about the same size, you’re getting considerably more product from the Trader Joe’s option.

This packaging was very difficult to photograph!

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The Pixi option has 7 oils in it to give you a “glow” so if you have oily skin, you may not love this one. You need to give it a good shake before you spray to redistribute everything.

The full ingredients are damn near impossible to read on the packaging but Pixi’s website has the full list: Water, Olive Fruit Oil, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, 1.2-Hexanediol, Safflower Seed Oil, Betaine, Avocado Oil, Anise Fruit Extract, Trehalose, Panthenol, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Achillea Millefollum Extract, Viola Mandshurica Flower Extract, Hibiscus Esculentus Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Vegetable Oil, Cananga, Odorata Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Bergamot Peel Oil, Propylene Glycol, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Tocopherol.

This one doesn’t particularly smell like rose, probably because there’s so much other stuff in it and the rose flower oil is at the bottom of the INCI list. It’s nourishing because of all the oils in it so I think I’ll reach for it more in the winter.

You may recall that I complained in this Empties post that the mister on the Pixi vitamin makeup mist was lousy. I’m pleased to report that the packaging on this mist is much improved and the mist sprays evenly. I don’t feel any residue the way I did with the vitamin wakeup mist, either.

Lastly, we have the Herbivore Botanicals rose hibiscus coconut water hydrating face mist, which is available loads of places including Herbivore and Sephora. This one retails for $32 for 4 oz/120 mL so it is, by far, the most expensive choice.

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Herbivore is a well-known “green” beauty brand, if that’s something you’re looking for. I must admit, I love the minimalistic packaging and beautiful glass bottle. This, too, has a nice, even mist and easy to use spray. This is the “wettest” of the three mists, but I would still apply it over makeup without worrying about disrupting my makeup. I don’t necessarily find this one to be more hydrating long-term; it’s more about how it feels when I first apply it since I tend to rely on mists for a quick boost.

The full INCI list: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Rose Damascena Flower Water, Witch Hazel Flower Water, Leucidal Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Coconut Water, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract (Neer Sikkappu Red)

The Herbivore ingredients are a lot like the Trader Joe’s list, and those two mists smell and feel much more similar than the Pixi option. Unless you’re a real purist about green beauty and do not want any fragrance in your products, I would suggest you save your pennies and head to Trader Joe’s (or find a friend to do it for you if you don’t live near one!).

As an added bonus, all three of these brands are cruelty free!

Let me know if you’ve given any of these a try, or if you have another rose face mist that you love! 🙂

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(None of the links are affiliate links; they’re simply used for your convenience. I purchased all of these products myself.)