Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 2015 Empties

Another month has past and it's time to sift through my trash and all the fond memories that come along with it. Here are my final thoughts on all of the products I've finished up in the month of April!

As much as it breaks my heart, it's time to bid my much loved Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara adieu. It's starting to hit that point where it's getting a bit funky and clumpy from age, so I'm going to err on the side of caution and chuck it. On general principle I only keep my mascaras for about three to four months before I move on to something new. Not only is it more hygienic, but it also keeps me moving through my stockpile of samples and such. Anyway, Lash Sensational may just be my new all time favorite mascara. It's affordable, creates a ton of definition and volume, and doesn't flake, smudge, or irritate my eyes.

I also decided it was time to let go of a couple high end mascara samples I had been using, both of which were also very good. The Tarte Lights, Camera Lashes is a long time favorite of many, and for good reason. The 4-in-1 formula lengthens, curls, volumizes, and conditions your lashes, leaving them looking perfectly lush. The wand is nothing innovative, but it works incredibly well at getting in between your lashes to maximize separation and boosting the drama. I also am saying goodbye to my Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Supreme Mascara sample. This was also decent, and did a perfectly good job at giving your lashes some oomph, however I think Lights, Camera, Lashes was generally a better mascara, and costs a few dollars less. The brush on the Laura Mercier was also very long, thin, and straight, which I found to be a little trickier to work with (and more likely to smudge on your lid).

I feel like it takes me ages to go through skincare, but I did make a bit of progress with some samples! First up was the Acure Organics Sensitive Facial Cleanser. Even though I wouldn't label my skin as sensitive, I loooooved this cleanser, and I think it made my oily complexion quite happy! It's very creamy and lathers up well, gets your skin clean but also doesn't leave it feeling stripped or dry. It's also packed with skin nourishing ingredients like argan oil, pumpkin seed oil, and a concoction of probiotics, so I feel pretty good about using it! The full size is $15 and can be purchased from Target, and as soon as I use up a bit more of my skincare stash I would totally purchase it.

On the other end of the spectrum I also used up a few super pricey skincare samples that I received from Birchboxes past. The first is Elsor Firming Collagen Day Cream, which is a whopping $85 for a 1.7oz jar. While I used up every last drop, I think this particular moisturizer would be best suited for mature or dry skin. It's very rich and moisturizing, but felt a little heavy on my already oily skin. It also has a pretty strong perfumey fragrance, so those with sensitive skin may want to steer clear.

Another super luxe skincare item I got to try was the Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Exfoliating Firming Tea Mask. I'm probably biased toward anything that combines tea with beauty products, but I really do think this mask is great even if you aren't a tea fanatic. The texture is actually sort of wet and creamy with fine particles throughout. You slather it all over your face (and neck and chest if you want the full experience), let it sit, and then gently rub it in circular motions as you rinse off. I thought it left my skin feeling incredibly soft and looking quite glowy, and the exfoliation didn't leave my skin irritated at all. It also smells pretty darn yummy (you know...because tea). Each tube is meant to be a single use deal, but I was able to get several out of mine (especially if I was only using it on my face and upper neck). It's definitely a pricey item, but if you feel like splurging a little I'd highly recommend!

The more I try products from Dr. Brandt the more respect I seem to have for the brand. Both of these products were AWESOME for oily skin and minimizing the appearance of large pores. The Pores No More Anti-Aging Mattifying Lotion really did exactly what it claims to do. It keeps your skin feeling matte, but also supple and hydrated. It also has some wonderful anti-aging benefits. The Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer has a mousse like texture that glides on with ease and leaves your skin with a silky, matte finish. It definitely helps your foundation to apply more smoothly and stay put all day. As far as shine control it definitely starts out strong, but I did notice some shine in my t-zone by the end of the day. I also wasn't a huge fan of the fact that it has a really heavy fragrance (why? I mean, really).

And of course, it wouldn't be my collection of empties if there wasn't at least one box of tea and some bath products. I've finished up a bag of Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt Soaking Solution, so I definitely need to go out and buy some more. At less than $5 a pop it's an absolute necessity to have on hand. Epsom salt baths are amazing on post workout days when your muscles are achey and sore. While there are a ton of different blends available, I really love the smell of the Milk & Honey version, which also leaves my skin feeling oh-so-soft.

Speaking of necessities, I basically drank this Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile Tea non stop from the moment I picked up the box. It's sweet but slightly citrusy and incredibly relaxing to drink. It's also caffeine free, so I can have a few cups without worrying about being totally wired. I like to add a little bit of honey to mine for an extra sweet kick and an energy boost!

The last product in my empties stash is a sample bottle of Maison CauliƩres Perfumed Bath Oil, which I received as part of the LE Vanity Affair Birchbox I picked up around the holidays. This french bath oil is a ridiculous indulgence, costing $55 for a 100ml bottle. It does make your bath smell like you're walking through a garden in the French countryside, and your skin will feel silky smooth post-soak, however, I could probably never justify purchasing a full sized bottle of this. I'm positive there are less expensive bath oil options that work equally well. Also, while the rose petals add some nice ambience to the bathing experience, they're a flippin pain to clean out of the tub afterward.

And there you have it! A very modest collection, I would say. I've got quite a few full sized products that are nearing the end, so I expect some beefier empties posts in the next couple months. Also be sure to check back tomorrow to hear all about my April favorites!

What products have you used up lately? Have you found any new favorites?