It’s been a while since I’ve gone through a batch of empty products. I’ve recently been unloading my empties whenever the bag starts to overflow, which seems to translate to a seasonal basis, and summer is just a few days away. I’m also going to be moving apartments soon and so it’s an appropriate time to be going through the cabinets and cleaning things out a bit! So, here’s a look at all of the skincare, makeup, body, and hair care products I used up throughout the spring and will be discarding.
I’ve divided everything up into several categories.
Skincare: cleansers, toners, lotions, and creams
Skincare makes up the bulk of what I go through, and here’s the general stuff: toners and moisturizers, which I tend to fly through pretty quickly. From left to right …
MAC Charged Water: I used this as a toner or moisturizing spritz, typically before applying any makeup. The MAC sales associate told me it’d be great for hydration, but it really didn’t make a big difference for me. It was pleasant but I see no need to buy it again.
Bioderma Sensibio Tonique: This is a toner meant for normal to dry sensitive skin that I got in my Bioderma lucky bag in Tokyo. It’s a big bottle and lasted me a long time, and I think it was nice. I just don’t know if it has any real standout qualities other than being mild. I’d try my luck with another happy bag if I’m in Japan over New Year’s, but wouldn’t necessarily seek out this toner all by itself.
Dr.Ci:Labo UP Lotion [full review]: This is a little bootle of toner that I got in a Dr.Ci:Labo skincare set (again, in Japan), and I thought this was fantastic. It has a fairly substantial texture and feels hydrating, and it’s also supposed to help address the signs of aging.
Sephora Collection Cleansing Cream [full review]: This was very nice, but the price was not a great deal considering how quickly I went through the bottle. It might be a nice one to grab if I need a little bottle of cleanser for traveling, though.
Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Anti-Aging Eye Cream [full review]: I liked this but find the Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado to be more hydrating and a better deal overall, so that’s what I re-bought during their recent sale.
Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream: Innisfree launched the Jeju Lava Seawater line for aging skin and I decided to try the cream first. There’s other stuff in the line I’d like to try, though I didn’t find this as hydrating as I thought it’d be. I think normal skin types would like this just fine. There’s a richer version available called the Deep Cream.
Nature Republic Argan 20 Toner and Steam Emulsion: I loved this toner, which I featured in my year-end favorites, and the emulsion was good, too. They’re both hydrating but really light on the skin so they’re perfect for layering. Plus, pretty affordable.
Muji Whitening Toner Water – High Moist: I don’t think this particular toner is available at US Muji stores, but they sell a lot of other ones. I enjoyed the soft, hydrating qualities of this toner and would get it (or another version) again in the future. I really like these basics from Muji and often grab the little sizes to take with me when I travel.
Derma MD Mid-Lift 11 Neck and Throat Creme: This is a $100 neck cream, which is not a normal thing for me. After feeling like it was going to waste just being applied to my décolletage, I started to also use it as a night cream all over my face. It’s a pretty phenomenal night cream, at least for my dryish skin, as it has a really comforting gooey consistency with peptides, collagen, vitamin B3, and Matrixyl. I was sad when I ran out of it. Disclosure: this product was provided to me by Derma MD.
Chant a Charm Moist Cream: This was another Japan purchase, and I’m still using the moisturizing milk from the same line. I think I like the milk better, but the cream was nice, too. It just had some issues with pilling when layered with certain other products.
Cosme Decorte iP.Shot Line Treatment Serum: The little gray tube in the front of the photo is a mini serum that I got in a Cosme Decorte lucky box in Japan. It’s a creamy serum that I used mostly around my eyes and forehead. It’s pleasant, and the other products from the brand seem to be, as well.
Here are some last items in the skincare category, which include a few different kinds of treatments.
Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence: This is supposed to hydrate and smooth skin. It seems like exactly the kind of product that I should love, but I actually struggled to find any benefits to using it. On the plus side, the bottle took forever to finish.
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% [full review]: Out of everything in my first order from The Ordinary, I used this up the quickest. I liked it a lot. I’m now using the Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% and I actually think my skin responded to the Azelaic a bit better, as it seems to have some soothing or anti-inflammatory properties. Would buy this one again.
Kiehl’s Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate [full review]: I love this and have used two of them up now, but I’d really like to not have to keep spending $54 on it. I bought acids from The Ordinary in order to try and find something to replace this, and I think I’ll be able to do without in the future.
YADAH Brightening Ampoule [full review]: This is a nice, affordable niacinamide serum from a Korean brand that’s relatively new to me. I had good luck with it and would use it again. Disclosure: this product was provided to me by BBCosmetic.
Kiehl’s Breakout Control Targeted Acne Spot Treatment: I just bought my second tube of this because it worked pretty well for me and I find it to be gentle and non-drying. It’s a sulfur and niacinamide treatment with some glycolic acid, as well.
Too Cool For School Gold Peeling Ankhwab: I tried the first swab in my pack of these Ankhwabs, which are single-use AHA+BHA acid peels. I’ll form a stronger opinion after using them a bit more, but I had a good experience on the first go.
Here are some empties and discards from my makeup collection:
Innisfree Moisture Fixing Spray: Innisfree used to carry this luminous makeup setting spray in their Green Tea line, but they don’t make this anymore. I’m almost to the end of the bottle and realized that it’s probably been sitting in my collection for a little too long at this point. I really liked this on the drier areas of my face but generally found it to be a bit too dewy for the center of my face, so it was hard to get into the habit of using it every day.
Physician’s Formula Youthful Wear Spotless Foundation [review] and Rimmel Lasting Finish 25HR Foundation [review]: I generally like both of these foundations but they’re not quite right for my skin now, and neither of them are the best shade match for me. They aren’t totally used up yet but are worth clearing out of my collection now.
Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer: I’ve used two of these up now and will likely purchase again in the future. It’s totally great, and not that expensive.
… and, here are some mascaras:
CoverGirl LashBlast Volume: CoverGirl mascaras really aren’t my thing and I don’t think I’ll continue to try them. They just don’t do much for my lashes at all.
L’Oreal Voluminous Feline: I really enjoyed this one, it worked really well for me and got even better as the formula dried out a bit over time. I’d say it gave my lashes both length and volume.
Cezanne Airy Curl: This is a Japanese brand that was insanely affordable in a Japanese drugstore, and I liked it. The effect it gave was on the natural side of things. It has a gently curved wand with short, soft natural bristles.
Etude House Oh! M’Eye Lash #04 Curling: This is another natural-looking option, this time from a Korean brand, and I liked it. It has a traditional straight wand with natural bristles.
Function of Beauty customized shampoo and conditioner [full review]: I’m a pretty big fan of these products and I’m on to my second duo now. The qualities of the Function of Beauty products are customized to your individual hair concerns, and you can fool around with the color and scent, as well. I think that for the quality and for the ingredients (no sulfates, silicones, etc.), these are well priced.
Aussie Total Miracle Dry Shampoo: This is a good dry shampoo and is extremely affordable, but sadly I couldn’t finish the whole can because I couldn’t handle to sugary cotton candy scent. It’s just too strong and makes me feel like I’m 6 years old.
Milk Makeup Natural Dry Shampoo: This is on the affordable side of hair care available at Sephora, but it’s a very small can so it’s better for travel purposes than it is for day-to-day use. I did really like it, I’d buy it again. It leaves the hair feeling pretty clean and not loaded with product, and has a pretty subtle white tea scent.
Light Mountain Natural henna/indigo hair dye in Mahogany: I’ve bought this from Amazon, where you can get single boxes as well as 3-packs. I’m working on a 3-pack now so I’ll continue to use it for the foreseeable future. It’s been nice to use, and Mahogany is a good color on me that is cooler and darker than straight henna, but still has enough of the henna in there to maintain some good dye strength, evenness, and longevity (while dyes with a higher concentration of indigo and less henna don’t work as well for me).
And finally, here are a few body care products!
Trader Joe’s body scrub: I got this in a 3-pack way back when, but ultimately didn’t love the purchase. Out of the 3 scrubs (which all have different base formulas and exfoliants), I only really liked one of them. I finally finished the last one, which was the fruit scrub and my favorite of the bunch.
Makanai Body Cream: This is another Japanese purchase from a brand whose natural formulations are said to come from the wisdom of women who worked in a gold foundry. I liked it fine and it smells nice, and the website says it’s food-safe, which is pretty neat. I’m a sucker for the simple package design, too.
Cosme Decorte De La Vie Herbal Body Serum: Like the aforementioned facial serum, this came in my Japanese lucky box from Cosme Decorte. I don’t really know what this is supposed to do, but it’s very lightweight on the skin and smells great. I also can’t find this one online, so I’ve linked to my blog post about my purchases in Tokyo instead of a product page.
The Honest Company Deodorant in Bergamot Sage: This was my first liquid/spray deodorant, and I tried it because I found it at Whole Foods for a pretty affordable price. They may be discontinuing it, though, because I don’t see it on Honest’s website, which would be a shame because I liked it and thought it worked well.
South of France bar soap in Blooming Jasmine: South of France makes my all-time favorite natural liquid handsoap, and so I tried a bar of their soap to see if it worked for cleansing brushes. It does, and I’m currently using and enjoying it (but discarding the cardboard box in my empties so I remember to talk about it). It’s affordable and the jasmine scent is great. You can find South of France in natural groceries like Whole Foods as well as in stores like Bed Bath & Beyond.
Phew! Have you tried any of these before? Were you a fan?