If seeing cut up tubes and empty containers isn’t your thing, click away from this post now. But, if you’re like many people who have enough product to stock an entire department store, and then some, and are always trying to clear out more products to make room for more, then these are the posts for you!
I don’t think I’m being original when I saw I love showing empty products and pan because finishing an entire product means I have had the chance to really form my opinions and thoughts on something. It’s especially exciting if it’s something that’s not in my normal routine that I would end up repurchasing anyway, like a moisturizer, or primer, or cleanser. The empties/pans that really excite me are things like blushes, lipsticks, and eyeshadows.
In the beauty industry, with PR packages flying everywhere, and my own tendencies to buy makeup with very little restraint and self control, it’s so rare to actually use things up and finish them. I’m sure everyone has had the sensation of trying a new product for a few days or weeks until something new comes along and everything else gets pushed aside. I know I’m certainly guilty of that, and then before I know it, a whole year has passed and I haven’t touched an eyeshadow palette once.
I don’t know about you all, but I’m starting to have a desire to just use products that I have and actually scrutinize new products that come out, because so often I already have something similar, but the new version has been hyped up by influencers, or has some fancy different packaging. I’ve really reached a saturation point with my makeup collection especially, and even my skincare collection to some extent. It hasn’t quite pushed me to stop buying makeup entirely, but I know I’ve definitely been a little bit more discerning in the past few months as I’ve gotten tired and bored of new products in the same similar iterations being release over and over again.
In an effort to buy slightly less makeup, I’ve really been concentrating on using what I have and minimizing where I can. I’m a lost cause when it comes to color products – lipsticks, blushes, eyeshadows, etc – but I basically know which foundation primers I like, or what lip balms I like. With skincare, I’ve definitely increased my collection by about tenfold in the last couple years, but I still like to maintain a relatively simple routine, and I don’t like to have too many of the same kind of product open at once. I really like to just have one or two cleansers, toners, moisturizers, etc, so I can use them up regularly. And really, I spend so much time thinking about what makeup I’m going to wear, that I don’t need to take up more time in the mornings to make decisions about skincare!
Which brings me back to my empties. Documenting what I finish is inspiration for me. Inspiration to keep using products, and also so I can keep track of what I actually finish.
So without anymore rambling, here are the beauty products that I’ve finished in February and some of my thoughts on them!
Starting from the back, I have a Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for Waterproof Makeup. I really liked this when I first bought it, because it removes waterproof makeup (yes, even my budgeproof waterproof mascaras) almost as easily as a bi-phase waterproof makeup remover would, minus the oiliness, but it was really only useful as a makeup remover. It left a slight residue on my face so it’s definitely not a “no-rinse” micellar water like Bioderma is. It’s great as a first cleanse before I actually wash my face, but I can’t use this in the morning in lieu of a cleanser, like I like to do with Bioderma sometimes. I may just stick with regular Bioderma, or try the pink version of the Garnier micellar water, but I probably won’t buy this one again.
Would not repurchase.
Next, I have the Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Body Butter in a mini. I really like these body butters, actually, and have used multiple full-sized versions in all different scents. They are thick and moisturizing, and they all smell amazing. I need some serious hydration on my body because for some reason the skin on my body is dry as the Sahara, while my face has oily skin, so I go through body lotions super quickly unless I buy huge bulk bottles, which I usually do. I probably wouldn’t repurchase a full size of this since I like to stick with drugstore options given how quickly I go through them, but I’d buy on sale, for sure.
The Alpha Skincare AHA Souffle 12% Glycolic Acid was my favorite “face acid,” as my boyfriend calls it, ever. They have since rebranded – I think they used to be called Alpha Hydrox, and now they’re just call Alpha Skincare – but I think they are so underrated. They make fantastic AHA products for a pretty inexpensive price, and this 1.6 oz tube lasted me nearly two years of nightly use. I don’t believe this exact product is available anymore, but they have a 12% glycolic acid solution that I believe is the replacement, and I’ll be buying that as soon as I finish various mini sizes of other AHA solutions.
Moving to the front, I have some minis! I absolutely HOARD minis, like I mentioned before, I get them all the time with various GWP’s and codes, and I rotate them into my routines as I would any full-size product or I keep them in my gym bag. You’ll notice that I also cut all the tubes, because I hate wasting product, and there’s always so much left over after you think you’ve squeezed the living daylights out of the tubes. Also, with larger tubes, I make sure to clean out every last drop so I can recycle them. In my area, tubes have to be over 2 inches in diameter, so I always make sure the bigger ones are cleaned and then recycled.
The MD Solar Sciences Mineral Tinted Sunscreen came in a Sephora sunscreen favorites bag last year. I can be kind of picky with sunscreens because they have to play well with my oily skin and with makeup, so I usually stick to Japanese formulations that are more watery and oil-controlling, but I did enjoy using this. It was just ever so slightly tinted and had a lightly whipped consistency, so it didn’t feel greasy. I didn’t notice it affecting application of my makeup or how oily my skin became, so that’s a plus. However, it just wasn’t special enough for me to warrent a full-size version when I can buy Japanese sunscreens for much cheaper.
Would not repurchase.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I really do not like facial masks. I know they’re the big thing now, but they’re honestly kind of a hassle for me. I’m terrible at consciously relaxing, so the thought of sitting around for 20 minutes without moving my face is not my thing, and I don’t love the sensation of feeling something dry on my face. That being said, I do use them every few weeks to get either a deep clean or extra hydration, and I have to really love something to actually use it regularly, let alone finish it. Enter the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. It’s one of the few masks I’ve tried that I feel like is actually effective, and I use it to clear out my skin if it’s feeling a little congested. It’s also one of the few masks I would consider buying a full-size version of, so THAT’s an accomplishment.
Would repurchase, when I got through a few more masks sitting in my bathroom!
Up next is the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hylaronic Cloud Cream. This is a really lightweight but insanely moisturizing cream. It’s like a gel-cream, but somehow it feels lighter than most gel-creams. I started using this in the late summer, when the DC humidity was in full force, but AC in my office and apartment was slowly killing my skin. I almost went and bought the full size until I saw that it was $52 for 1.6 oz. I’ll consider when it’s on sale and I’ve used more of my moisturizers.
I like to only keep a couple lip balms open at a time: one or two for nighttime, one for day, and one in my purse. Even with DAILY use at night, this (now discontinued) Nivea Lip Butter in Caramel Cream Kiss lasted me for a good three years. It’s a shame these were discontinued, because I love the scent and consistency, and it was so effective at keeping my lips moisturized through the night. Next, I’m excited to crack open the much pricier By Bterry Baume de Rose.
Would repurchase, if it weren’t discontinued!
I’ll include the Shiseido Facial Cottons in skincare, since I use it almost exclusively for makeup removal. There is so much hype around there, and yes, they are pillowy soft and don’t fall apart like some cheaper cottons, but they’re not that good, in my opinion. Prior to using these, I was using the Muji Cotton Pads, which are not quite as silky smooth, but it’s not that noticeably different that I would only buy the Shiseido version. The Muji pads are also about $4 for 100 sheets compared to the $10 for the Shiseido ones. However, the Shiseido ones are easier to get ahold of here, so I may just suck it up and buy it on sale from Ulta or Sephora because I do think these are superior to the standard drugstore facial cottons.
Would repurchase when I can’t get the Muji ones.
I usually have more makeup products, but this just wasn’t the month. Still, I have a few things that I finished.
First is the MAC Prep and Prime Natural Radiance Base, which I used as a primer. It was a light yellow tint that is presumably supposed to help boost radiance, but it didn’t do that for me. I still like the Prep and Prime primers from MAC, since they’re lightweight, and do have some oil control for me. If I were to repurchase, I would repurchase the original primer.
Would not repurchase this particular version.
A makeup fail was the Benefit They’re real Push-Up Gel Eyeliner. Just, no. It’s meant to be a “self-rising” gel eyeliner in pen form. Sorry, this was a complete fail. I couldn’t even get the sample to push up any product, and it certainly wasn’t self-rising. I’m glad this was just a sample because this was a fail.
Would not purchase.
For a long time, I’ve heard great things about the Clinique Chubby Sticks, but it took me a long time to actually try one. I had the shade Whole Lotta Honey from a GWP, and I used up the admittedly very small product in about three weeks. I kept it at work for a moisturizing, super sheer brown-nude shade. It was indeed very moisturizing and easy to throw on.
Would repurchase at some point.
Eyeliners are another tricky product for me because on top of having oily skin, I have unusually watery eyes, so everything absolutely has to be waterproof if I want to avoid looking like a panda. I’ve found a few eyeliners that have worked for me (Milani is one of the best for pencil, btw), and the Japanese brand Kanebo KATE pencil gel eyeliner was one I was waiting to try. Their gel eyeliner has long been one of my favorite gel liners, that I always stock up on when I’m in Taiwan, or my parents go to Taiwan, but I had never tried their pencil version. Unfortunately, while it was good and budgeproof, it wasn’t as good as the gel version. It wasn’t as black as the potted gel version, so I definitely had to go over the top of it with a liner. I usually do that anyway, but on the somewhat rare occasion that I wear pencil liners on their own, this didn’t cut it.
Would not repurchase.
I rarely just throw out makeup products, but I had to do it with these two. The Pixi Matte Lipstick in Rose Naturelle went bad before I even opened it – and it was unopened in my stash for maaaybe a year – so that was super disappointing. It keeps me from wanting to try more of her lip products, even though I hear great things about the Pixi line in general. The second product is the Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in Vintage Plum, which was super dried out. I chose to throw this out instead of reviving it because it wasn’t a flattering color or a particularly creamy shadow to begin with. Lesson learned to not impulse buy at the drugstore!
Lastly, I have a couple of other products. The ELF Nail Polish in Dark Red was one that I’ve been trying to use up for a while after having it around for a few years. It was a fine shade – a basic dark red and an all around average nail polish – but nothing special. I have plenty of other red polishes that I like better.
The final product is the Atelier Cologne Cedre Atlas Cologne. Atelier Cologne is really great, and they make some of my favorite scents, especially the Orange Sanguine, Sud Magnolia, and Silver Iris scents. They are super concentrated, so a little goes a looong way, and they last forever. Cedre Atlas is definitely a great unisex cologne because it has a citrus-pine combination that I could see working well on men, but I loved it on myself more than my boyfriend. It wasn’t as good as the three other scents I mentioned, but I did enjoy the sample.
Would not repurchase this particular scent.
Those are all my empties this month! It’s quite a selection of products, but as you can see, I have a pretty high standard into what I want to repurchase, and none of these were amazing enough to make me want to repurchase right away. This definitely isn’t the case every month, but it’s nice to see month to month what I’ve really been loving, and what I’ve been using up to clear out of my collection. I hope you enjoyed seeing everything that I finished this month, and stay tuned for next month’s edition!
What did you finish up this month? Anything on my list that you loved/didn’t love?
As always, thanks for reading!