I took a little break from keeping up with empties that I was going through, and I thought now that February is over I’d revisit the products that I’ve used up this winter. I’ve been a little more selective about the empty trash that I keep around so hopefully this is an easier group of things to keep up with and makes for a breezier read. Here are my final thoughts on the makeup and skincare products that deserve one last look before getting tossed out.
Back row: Acure Sensitive Facial Cleanser ($9.99), Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate ($58), Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil ($10 for the small size), Acure Night Cream ($17.99), Dr. Ci:Labo Cleansing Cream EX mini, Acure CGF Oil-Free Serum ($19.99)
Middle row: Kiehl’s Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate ($54), Nature Republic Argan 20 Real Squeeze Ampoule ($33). Club Clio Makeup Away Cleansing Oil sample, Nature Republic Argan 20 Real Cream ($22.90), Dr. Ci:Labo Aqua Collagen Gel mini jar
Not pictured: Some of my empty mainstays that I didn’t keep this time around include the South of France liquid hand soap (which is natural, gentle, affordable, and generally awesome) and the Stridex maximum strength toner pads with salicylic acid (again, super affordable and awesome). I also tried shampoos and conditioners from Andalou Naturals and Avalon Organics, but both were complete flops, which totally surprised me. I love Andalou as a brand and Avalon came highly recommended to me by multiple people in my life, but they both dried the crap out of my hair. I did my best to use them for several months, but had to buy a separate, substantial leave-in conditioner just so my hair could survive during that time.
Parting thoughts: I’ll quickly touch on the Acure products first since there are 3 of them pictured. I liked all 3 and reviewed them here. These were the first products from Acure I’d tried and I think they worked well and were affordable. Nothing fancy, but nice and easy to find at places like Whole Foods.
There are also two Kiehl’s products here. The Nightly Refining Micro-Peel (reviewed here) is a favorite of mine, while I don’t think the Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum did anything for my skin. Like, at all. That’s a bummer, ’cause it wasn’t cheap.
I reviewed these 2 Dr.Ci:Labo products recently here, as I got a handful of them all together in a skincare set. I think the cleansing cream is good but probably not worth full price, whereas the Aqua-Collagen-Gel moisturizer was awesome.
I have 2 Nature Republic Argan 20 products here, and I’m still working on 2 more in my skincare cabinet – a toner and a lotion. The ampoule (which was really just a facial oil) was nice. It has argan oil as well as a bunch of other stuff, was lightweight enough to use in the daytime, but I found it perfect for nighttime. The cream was also quite nice, but a little funny. It had this really thick, substantial texture yet didn’t feel oily and wasn’t crazy rich. It dried down quickly and worked fine under makeup. So even though it felt heavy to the touch, I could have actually used something a bit more hydrating through the winter.
There are 2 cleansing oils here, and both were really great. I bought the Boscia cleansing oil at Sephora when I needed a travel-friendly option (it came with a plastic piece to secure the pump, keeping it mess-free). And then I got the little bottle of Club Clio oil when I bought their brush-tip liquid eyeliner. I bought it at a Club Clio location in New York City, but the same liner and cleansing oil set is available online at Birchbox. I do recommend the little set, as the liner is awesome and the oil is a great bonus.
And then for the mascaras. The Maybelline Mega Plush was really nice but ultra-natural, and while building it up looked quite good, it took a ton of time to build up the layers and get the effect I was going for. The L’Oreal Miss Manga Rock has apparently been discontinued, but I really liked it. I still have yet to try the original Miss Manga. The CoverGirl Super Sizer Fibers was, interestingly, a true dud of a purchase because my particular wand was completely missing bristles. I bought it while on a trip when I forgot to bring mascara and tried it a few times before confirming that the wand was, in fact, not normal. But I can say that the formula actually seemed quite nice and long-lasting. However, the bristle defect meant it was just impossible to control.
Have you tried any of these before? Have you ever ended up with a bizarrely defective product? I’d love to hear!